A permanent Child Tax Credit will make CT a state where families thrive
By Jennifer Heath, President & CEO, United Way of Greater New Haven
Governor Ned Lamont set an important goal for our state: making Connecticut the most family-friendly state in America. We agree that it’s time to take action to invest in our families. Creating a Child Tax Credit (CTC) of $600 per child is an important, high-impact step to support the parents and children who call Connecticut home.
We are seeing the impact of rising costs of everything from groceries to housing on residents in Greater New Haven, particularly families with children. Raising a child here is more expensive than almost anywhere else in the country. We consistently rank among the top ten most expensive states for housing, and among the five most expensive states for childcare. This economic stress falls disproportionately on women and families of color: 57% of Connecticut’s Black households, 63% of Hispanic, and 73% of single-female headed households with children struggle at or below the United Ways’ of Connecticut ALICE (Asset -Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) threshold of the income needed to live in Connecticut, based on real local cost data.
This lack of economic security can damage children’s health, reduce educational attainment, and limit opportunities for lifelong success. The data on this are clear: investing in children and families helps them thrive, both now and in the long run. However, the implications go beyond the families directly affected; this gap between working families’ incomes and the cost of living also negatively impacts our state’s overall growth and vitality. The most recent census report showed that between 2000 and 2022, Connecticut’s working-age population (people between 20 and 49) fell by 5.6 percent. Families are moving away or are choosing to build their lives elsewhere. A permanent CTC would help keep working-aged people (usually those with young children) here in CT and help draw new young families to our state to bolster our workforce.
In our role helping to coordinate and support services across our community, we hear directly from families about their need for help: parents who rely on food pantries so their children have enough to eat, families who don’t know how they will continue to pay the rent as prices go up, and moms and dads who are working multiple jobs but can’t get ahead. It’s time to create a permanent Child Tax Credit in Connecticut to support our families and children and to make a sound investment to grow our workforce. It will pay dividends for years to come.