It remains unclear whether the federal government will make permanent last year's expansion of the Child Tax Credit. In the meantime, supporters in Minnesota argued the state could step in and approve its own version to prevent families from falling off the financial cliff.
A new report from Washington University in St. Louis said the temporary federal expansion saw families experience improved nutrition and relying less on their credit cards to survive.
Ryan Hamilton, government relations associate for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, said it was a great case study in trying to reduce poverty. But he stressed it was short-lived for many households who could use extra support.
"A Minnesota child tax credit would be a tremendous benefit to families who are at or near the poverty line," Hamilton contended. "And those families who are facing the rising cost of food and necessities due to inflation."
Unlike the federal credit, which already existed and was expanded, Minnesota would have to adopt its own framework. There is no specific proposal at the moment. Supporters have asked policymakers to embrace a fully refundable tax credit to put more money in the hands of eligible households. Amid a large budget surplus, both major parties expressed a desire for tax relief, but have different ideas in how to do it.
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