January 7, 2022

As child tax credits expire, here’s how families used the money for ‘survival’

Christopher Spata and Margot Snipe write:

"When Steve Cutter’s landlord unexpectedly sold the house he was renting, his family had to spend $2,300 a month on a New Port Richey motel room to avoid sleeping in their car. The monthly $300 he and his wife received from the IRS for their 6-year-old was, he said, the difference between “eating ramen every night of the month or getting actual food.”

When Tampa’s Melody Richardson and her husband caught COVID-19 and couldn’t work for most of August, the $500 per month child tax credit meant groceries for their two teen daughters. When her husband, Reginald, died from the virus in September, that money became “our survival.”


Low-income families benefit the most, experts say, and data shows that people are spending the money as it was intended — on rent, child care and food. That money flows back into the economy, said Norín Dollard, a senior policy analyst with the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added].

'It really does help to start to close the income gap,' said Dollard, who noted families of color tend to be disproportionately burdened by poverty."


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