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Connecticut families can apply for child tax credit starting June 1

Hartford — Connecticut families can apply for a child tax credit — worth $250 per child — starting June 1.

State residents who meet income requirements and can claim one or more dependent children younger than 18 years old are eligible for the rebate. Applicants must make $100,000 or less if single or married and filing separately, $169,000 or less if head of household and $200,000 or less if married and filing jointly. The credit accounts for about $150 million in tax relief.

"The application period for this rebate will take place over the next several weeks, with the rebates going out in late August, just in time for the start of the next school year," Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said in a Thursday news release. "I strongly urge all eligible families in Connecticut to submit an application so that the rebate can be sent to you with no delays."

People can apply online by going to portal.ct.gov/DRS and clicking on "2022 CT Child Tax Rebate."

The credit comes during a gubernatorial election year and as part of the state budget adjustment's tax relief package passed during this spring's legislative session, but Republicans have argued it doesn't go far enough to help struggling families.

During a news conference in Hartford on Thursday, Lamont, along with Revenue Services Commissioner Mark Boughton; state Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, a co-chair of the state legislature’s finance committee; Tanya Barrett, senior vice president of United Way of Connecticut’s Health and Human Services; other officials and members of the public celebrated the tax rebate.

Tracy Scott of Windsor, who is raising four grandchildren with her husband, said Thursday that the tax credit will help her situation.

“Raising children is not easy, and financially it can be difficult at times. My husband recently retired, so there was a decrease in our income,” Scott said. “We took our grandchildren in because we did not want them to end up in foster care. They’re our family, we love them, and we wanted them to know who we are.”

She said the rebate will be especially helpful now that COVID-19 pandemic stimulus money is gone.

“The new Connecticut child tax credit will definitely help with the gap. And we definitely qualify for $750 of that, because we have four of the grandchildren,” Scott said. “Governor Lamont, I really want to thank you. I hear you really pushed for this to go through, and that means a lot to me, and I’m sure it means a lot to a lot of parents.”

However, a release that state Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme, ranking member of the Finance Committee, put out last week sums up Republican opposition to the level of tax relief.

"Only modest tax relief totaling roughly $600 million is included, most of which is only guaranteed for one year," the release reads. "That relief includes an increased property tax credit to $300 with full eligibility, $250 child tax credit for those making less than $100,000, increased earned income tax credit, capping motor vehicle tax at 32.46 mills. Given the revenue windfall the state has received from taxpayers due to inflation the tax breaks in the budget that passed are simply not enough."

Republican legislators had pitched a $1.2 billion tax relief plan in April after the state projected a budget surplus of nearly $4 billion.

Democrats opposed the Republican plan, saying the $600 million tax cut is part of a more prudent budget adjustment focused on making up for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, Lamont and Scanlon pushed back on the Republican critiques.

“We did the biggest expansion of day care and child care in the history of the state. ... The child tax credit on top of that is one more way to say Connecticut values families and understands what it is in this day and age to raise a family,” Lamont said, adding, “If you locate your business here or expand your business here, this is how we take care of your family.”

“I started fighting for this two years ago because I understand why this is so important,” Scanlon said Thursday. “I was raised by a single mom in Guilford, somebody who worked paycheck to paycheck, sat around that kitchen table every night trying to figure out how she was going to make it work. For people like that ... all across the state of Connecticut, they now are going to, this summer, get a check in the mail to help them pay for the costs that have been going up, and up and up.”

Scanlon said he and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz are going to continue a tour to different parts of the state to get the word out about the tax credit. The Department of Revenue Services also is sending informational postcards to 300,000 eligible households this week.

s.spinella@theday.com

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