The senator's good work | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The senator's good work

Posted By on Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Credit Sen. Blanche Lincoln for her work to extend the child tax credit for working poor.


Washington – U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have introduced legislation to ensure that more of America’s low-income, hardworking families continue to be eligible for the child tax credit. 

The Senators’ bipartisan legislation makes the credit permanent, setting an income threshold of $8,500 that families must meet in order to be eligible to receive its benefit.  Last year, Lincoln and Snowe were successful in temporarily setting $8,500 as the income threshold for 2008.  Their legislation introduced this week would make that income level permanent and extend the credit past its scheduled expiration in 2010. 

“Senator Snowe and I have fought for several years to make the child tax credit accessible to more hardworking American families,” Lincoln said.  “We believe $8,500 is an appropriate level for families to be eligible for the assistance, and we will continue to fight to ensure this is made permanent law.  Working parents should not be unfairly disqualified for the credit simply because their wages haven’t kept up with inflation.”

“Expanding the Child Tax Credit will help ease the financial burden on the nation’s most vulnerable families, ensuring they can keep more of their hard earned dollars to better provide for their children,”  said Senator Snowe, a senior member on the Senate Finance Committee. “As strong advocates for this initiative, Senator Lincoln and I will make a strong push to not only have our legislation included as a provision in the upcoming stimulus package but to also ensure this legislation is permanently enacted into law.”

When the child tax credit refundability law was written in 2003, it was indexed for inflation and as such has increased each year.  Because the income threshold is tied to inflation, many low-income working parents no longer qualify for the refundable credit because their wages have fallen below the minimum income requirement.  Current law dictates that families must meet an income threshold of $12,550 to be eligible for the refundable child tax credit in 2009, and even more than that in following years.

Lincoln and Snowe are members of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee.


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