It’s the last day of our “Five Days, Five Ways” series highlighting how North Carolinians will benefit from the American Rescue Plan. From $1400 checks, to vaccine distribution, money for schools, small businesses, and a huge Medicaid expansion incentive — the plan, now law, is a bold, historic statement of values for Democrats and has already delivered needed relief to North Carolinians during this crisis.
One of the most monumental aspects of the American Rescue Plan is its expansion of the Child Tax Credit. Taken together, the payments are estimated to cut child poverty in half. According to the U.S. Census, 19.5% of the state’s children lived in poverty in 2019. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan, additional relief of up to $1,600 per child through the Child Tax Credit to the families of 2,088,000 children, will lift 137,000 North Carolina children out of poverty.
“The American Rescue Plan is game-changing for North Carolina families,” said NCDP Chair Bobbie Richardson. “Far too many families are trapped in an unbreakable cycle of poverty that forces them into hard decisions about how to take care of their family. These payments will be revolutionary for our children and families to ensure they can afford things like child care, groceries, and health care.”
An op-ed from the Charlotte Observer explains that “raising the income in households with children is a proven tool to boost educational, health, and developmental outcomes critical to lifelong success and well-being.”
Read more from the op-ed about the benefits of the American Rescue Plan for North Carolina families:
- Estimates find that the entire plan will reduce poverty in half in this country. That will mean 13 million people — more than the entire population of North Carolina —will no longer be living on less than $25,000 for a family of four. In our state, that reduction would effectively hundreds of thousands of people into greater economic security, which will help local businesses and improve lifelong outcomes for the next generation of North Carolinians.
- In North Carolina, the increase in food assistance that is part of the American Rescue Plan will provide additional dollars to households specifically benefiting those who live at half the federal poverty level, a group that has grown exponentially since 1996.
- In North Carolina, the Earned Income Tax Credit changes will extend the credit for individual workers without children who are earning low wages. These workers have been too often blocked from policy supports.
- In North Carolina, the Child Tax Credit expansion alone will lift 137,000 children out of poverty and reach 2.6 million children through monthly advance payments between July and December. Raising the income in households with children is a proven tool to boost educational, health, and developmental outcomes critical to lifelong success and well-being.
- The American Rescue Plan not only makes these commitments, but it recognizes that we can and must have the public infrastructure to connect directly with people across the country to deliver aid. The ability to mail checks to people each month, to provide just-in time aid, is critical to households and sustaining the recovery.