Proposal would give more money to Ohio families with children

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 12:38 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A new proposal in Ohio aims to put more money in the pockets of families with children. The Thriving Families Tax Credit was recently introduced in the Ohio House. Families could get up to $1,000 for each child younger than six years old, and $500 per child ages six to 17.

Supporters say it would provide tax relief to families who need it.

“I strongly believe that all families, regardless of zip code, should be able to succeed in our state,” said said Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) in a statement. “Providing a benefit such as the Thriving Families Tax Credit allows parents, grandparents, and caregivers to determine what is best for their budgets and their children’s needs.”

Families earning less than $65,000 annually would qualify for the full benefit amount, according to the sponsors. Benefits would phase out for families earning between $65,000 and $85,000 annually.

The bill’s sponsors believe about 1.8 million children would benefit from the tax credit. They say 13 other states currently have state-level child tax credits, including Idaho, Utah, New Mexico and Vermont.

Tax policy researchers with Policy Matters Ohio, a progressive non-profit research institute, said the credit would be targeted tax relief for low- and middle-income families.

“It shows the state that it’s valuing the work that they put in,” said Bailey Williams with Policy Matters Ohio. “It values the work that parents put in on the day-to-day raising the next generation of Ohioans.”

Williams said the proposal is similar to the expanded federal child tax credit implemented by Congress during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We saw improvements in childhood poverty rates that were slashed to their lowest in history,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, since those that expansion was only was temporary and has since expired, we’ve seen jumps in childhood poverty again without those family economic security packages in place.”

He said while it’s unlikely Congress will revive the expanded federal child tax credit, he’s hopeful there will be an appetite among Ohio lawmakers to enact the tax credit in the state.

“Let’s cut our parents who are the ones who are most economically vulnerable and on the on a tax relief bill and help them make that make ends meet.”

House Bill 290 is currently awaiting its first committee hearing.

Families could get up to $1,000 for each child younger than six years old, and $500 per child ages six to 17.