Congressional Task Force May Recommend New Federal Funds for Children

El Nuevo Dia is reporting this morning that the Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth for Puerto Rico has agreed to recommend and advance legislation in favor of full inclusion of residents of Puerto Rico in the Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Rep. Nydia Velazquez has indicated that there will be draft legislation after Thanksgiving, according to the El Nuevo Dia report.

There are already numerous proposals for an expanded CTC pending before Congress. Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-NJ) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Task Force members, have introduced legislation, as has Congressman Pascrell (D-NJ).   The Pascrell proposal has ten cosponsors, including Pierluisi and several members of the Ways & Means Committee, the congressional committee that has jurisdiction over the legislation.

The Child Tax Credit currently applies to Puerto Rico but only beginning with the third child.  Families with one or two children do no qualify for any credit at all.  Resident Commissioner Pierluisi explained upon introducing his CTC proposal that his legislation could benefit an additional 300,000 families in Puerto Rico.

Other proposals that had been considered possible for Puerto Rico lost momentum at yesterday’s meeting of the task Force.  The Earned Income Tax Credit for Puerto Rico is considered by many to be too expensive, and plans to temporarily reduce the payroll tax for Puerto Rican workers would have provided special treatment to Puerto Rican residents that U.S. citizens of the fifty states to not have – a dynamic that proved too tough a political lift for members having to answer to their own constituents.  A plan to reduce the tax on income of foreign subsidiaries of companies based in the U.S. states manufacturing in Puerto Rico from 35% to 2.625% similarly lacks support among the members of the Congressional Task Force.

2 Comments

hadeninteractive

This is a common reaction, Luis, but the people receiving the EITC in the states don’t earn enough to pay federal income taxes, and they still get a “refund” because of the EITC. Those who get the Child Tax Credit file a tax return so they can receive it — in Puerto Rico and also in the states. These credits can really help lift families out of poverty.

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