“President Biden and Democrats know that investing in families, particularly those historically underserved by our government, is needed to set all Americans up for success and boost our economy along the way.”
This week, the third payment of the expanded Child Tax Credit, included in President Biden and Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, hit North Carolina families’ bank accounts. In an op-ed published in The Triangle Tribune, one Raleigh-based parent outlines how these monthly tax cuts are impacting communities of color in the Triangle and across North Carolina.
President Biden’s expanded Child Tax Credit is being provided to the families of over two million children in North Carolina and is expected to lift over 130,000 children in the state out of poverty. In August, roughly 216,000 payments of the monthly tax cut hit families in the Triangle’s bank accounts. Studies have shown that the first few months of these payments have decreased child hunger and reduced financial anxiety for families.
The Triangle Tribune: John Verdejo: President Biden’s child tax credit is delivering direct relief
- As an Afro-Puerto Rican and the proud father of two young boys, I know firsthand how difficult the pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis has been on all families, especially communities of color. The combination of disparities in access to health care and economic opportunities were devastating.
- The facts are telling. Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population but represent a disproportionate amount of COVID-19 deaths. Black families face higher than average unemployment rates and other economic challenges associated with the pandemic. Across the country, Black Americans are facing some of the highest unemployment rates. In January, 9% of Black workers (1.8 million people) were unemployed. Approximately 1 in 5 Black households is also struggling with food insufficiency, and more than 1 in 3 Black renters has fallen behind on monthly payments.
- Similarly, Latino Americans have been devastatingly impacted by the pandemic. Hispanics and Latinos comprise almost 19% of the U.S. population but are 1.9 times more likely to contract the coronavirus, 2.8 times more likely to be hospitalized by COVID and 2.3 times more likely to die from the disease. In a recent study by Pew Research, roughly 62% of Latinos reported having financial difficulties throughout the pandemic while 35% of Latinos said they had trouble paying bills, and 31% had gotten food through a food bank or charitable organization.
- That’s why President Biden and Vice President Harris set out to deliver immediate relief for hard-hit Black and Latino families and small businesses from the first day of their administration to build a bridge towards economic recovery and reduce poverty in Black communities by 34% and 39% in Latino communities. By passing the American Rescue Plan just 50 days into taking office, President Biden laid out a comprehensive plan to address inequities worsened by the pandemic.
- The expanded Child Tax Credit is one of the most significant components of the American Rescue Plan that is already making a big difference for communities of color, including in the Triangle. These payments, which are hitting families’ bank accounts for the third month this week, are being provided to the families of nearly 2 million children in North Carolina –providing monthly payments of $300 to the families for each child under 6 years old and $250 to the families for each child between ages 6 and 17.
- Multiple studies have already proven how much these monthly tax cuts are making an impact. One CNBC study found that in just one month alone, the expanded Child Tax Credit reduced financial anxiety for 56% of families across the country with “more than half of those surveyed said the payment was a ‘huge deal,’ and another 40% said it was ‘helpful’ to their family budget.”
- Another study found that over 3 million American households had enough to eat in July thanks to the expanded Child Tax Credit, particularly benefiting to Black and Latino households. And just last week, a new study showed that making the Child Tax Credit permanent would reduce poverty to less than 10% in almost every state, including decreasing child poverty by 44.3% in North Carolina.
- It’s clear that just in a few months, the expanded Child Tax Credit is delivering for all American families, but especially communities of color that were disproportionately devastated by COVID-19. President Biden and Democrats know that investing in families, particularly those historically underserved by our government, is needed to set all Americans up for success and boost our economy along the way.