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The end of Biden's child tax credit is hurting Florida families

U.S. Treasury check.
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Americans will no longer receive monthly tax credits for their children, as lawmakers left for winter recess without passing President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

According to census data, families were beginning to see noticeable improvements to their lives because of the payouts, which ended in December.

Since July of 2021, eligible families have been receiving monthly payments of up to $300 per child under the child tax credit. December marked the final month of payouts, and some families are already feeling the loss of those additional funds.

President Biden says that he is “not sure” he can get the credit into the stalled Build Back Better legislation, which initially included plans to renew the program.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has advocated for a permanent version of the funds. The organization runs a data collection project called Kids Count, which tracks child well-being in the U.S.

Norín Dollard is the director of Kids Count and works for the Florida Policy Institute. She says that the tax credit payments were working as intended.

“Families [were] using them for childcare, school supplies, for putting food on the table, paying rent,” said Dollard. “We know that as of October, 3.6 million kids had been lifted out of poverty.”

The tax credits were on track to reducing the number of children living in poverty in the U.S. by 40%.

The loss of these funds is especially hard on families in the greater Tampa Bay region, due to the continuing rise in rent.

According to U.S. Census data, 27.6% of families nationwide that received child tax credits used most of the money to pay their rent or mortgage.

Lawmakers have urged Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency for affordable housing to protect low-income families.

There are still hopes of keeping the child tax credit program alive. President Biden suggested at a news conference Jan. 19 that Democratic lawmakers would have to make changes to his social spending agenda to get it passed.

“We’re very invested in getting this back into Build Back Better,” said Dollard. “It’s Washington, anything can happen. It was a setback, but it’s not over.”

I am a WUSF Rush Family/USF Zimmerman School Digital News Intern for the spring 2022 semester; this is my second internship with the station.
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