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Utahns call on Congress to expand Child Tax Credit

Utahns are advocating for an extension on the Child Tax Credit.
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Utahns are advocating for an extension on the Child Tax Credit.

Utahns are calling on Congress to expand the child tax credit and say it should be a priority in a year-end tax package. According to the Coalition on Human Needs, nearly half of Utah adults with children said they found it difficult to pay household bills in the month of October, and one in three said they didn't purchase basic needs so they could pay their energy bills. Clint Cottam with Community Action Partnership of Utah said they know the tax credit was a big help to Utah families in 2021, and want to see it continue.

“If people are stable, if parents know that they can make it, I believe they are doing to show up to work more productive," Cottam said.

In Utah, 151,000 children under the age of 17 were not granted the $2000 per child Child Tax Credit because their parent didn't earn enough. Cottam says they'd like to see some of the restrictions in the law reduced or eliminated so families have access to all of the funds available.

Advocates believe Utah families need the Child Tax Credit during a time of high economic uncertainty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the expanded Child Tax Credit kept more than 5 million people above the poverty line in 2021 as well as significantly reducing childhood hunger. Cottam said being a parent is hard work and barriers that prevent a child's development and prohibit economic security, makes the already challenging job more difficult.

"I believe it is important to invest in our human capital. Our economy is stronger when human capital is stronger. These are our future workers. These are our future innovators. These are our future contributors to our economy," Cottam said.

Cottam said the full credit is especially important to families with children under the age of six, a crucial stage for health and development.