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Studies: Alaska Families Could Benefit if Child Tax Credit is Revived

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The Child Tax Credit expansion was part of the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden in 2021. (Adobe Stock)
The Child Tax Credit expansion was part of the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden in 2021. (Adobe Stock)
Some of Alaska's lower-income families want the expanded Child Tax Credit program to be reinstated, as the cost of living continues to rise. The measure, extended by Congress in 2021, increased the total annual credit for families to receive per children under age six, from $2,000 to $3,600 and $3,000 for kids under 18.

But the credit expired at the end of last year, and now some lawmakers and parents want to revive it.

Jenny Taylor, a mother and a child care administrator in Fairbanks, said economic pressures have only continued.

"It should be implemented again to help stabilize the economy," Taylor said. "To help continue to support people returning to work, feeling comfortable returning to work because they know they can pay their bills."

Close to four million children across the country fell into poverty in January when the tax credit was not extended, according to the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. According to the group Children's Health Watch, families that received these payments were about 2.5 times more likely to catch up on their rent after falling behind during the pandemic.

Opponents of reviving the Child Tax Credit feel it would only be a temporary fix, and would end up contributing to higher inflation costs by giving lower-income families more money to spend. But Taylor sees it as a boost that would help families like hers make ends meet and contribute to the battle against poverty.

"It makes you see the help that you need, and where the money can go in order for you to continue and get back out there. And without that help, people are just going to stay stagnant," Taylor said.

Taylor said the Child Tax Credit saved her family and granted them access to basic needs. According to the Coalition for Human Needs, almost 8% of Alaska adults with children reported their families didn't always have enough to eat during September of this year.