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Education

Advocates urge Congress to extend child tax credit expansion

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Advocates are urging Congress to extend the expansion of child tax credits that is a part of Build Back Better proposal still being debated. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

Listen to the broadcast version of the story.

Organizers in Indiana and around the country are urging for the extension of the expanded child tax credits. With the legislation up in the air, one Hoosier says she’s concerned for the future of families that have come to rely on the extra money.

The American Rescue Plan increased tax credits for each child and allowed families to receive money in advance rather than when filing taxes.

A report released in August by Community Change Action and Hoosier Action could increase consumer spending in Indiana by more than $700 million.

Congress is still debating the Build Back Better proposal, which includes the extension of the expanded child tax credits. 

Eva Bell is a community organizer with the grassroots nonpartisan group Hoosier Action.

Bell said she’s heard a lot of positive stories from families across the state that benefit from the advance child tax credit.

“But those conversations, I'm not gonna lie, have been filled with a lot of fear ... We've all been structuring our bills and our family's financial ability to pay bills and thrive on these child tax credits.” said Bell. “And they're about to go away. And we're really concerned about that. Because the struggle we finally started being able to climb out of, we might backslide right into.”

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Bell said the money has helped her pay the bills and also cover costs for her daughter to participate in activities.

“I am also a low-income mom,” she said. “And ... what's often overlooked as not a big deal – like dance classes for my daughter. Things like that, actually, like that support our children in the long run, are really big deals of families in poverty.”

Bell said not only do the advance tax credits need to be permanently extended but also require continued outreach to make it more accessible to those who need it.

As of now the program is set to end at the end of the year.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.
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