Child tax credit bill aimed at low-income families

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 11, 2003

In an effort to deflect growing criticism of the $350 billion tax cut he signed into law less than 30 days ago, President Bush has signaled House Republicans to approve a bill that would increase the child tax credit for low-income families.

The bill &045;&045; originally sponsored by U.S. Rep. Artur Davis &045;&045; would raise the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000 and increase the number of eligible families by lowering the qualifying income level from $10,500 to $7,500.

The bill would also increase the refundable limit from 10 percent of income over the qualifying limit to 15 percent, allowing more families to approach the full $1,000 per child credit.

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Republicans initially opposed extending the $400 increase in the tax credit to low-income families.

Since Bush signed the original tax package into law, Democrats have excoriated Republicans for passing a package that they described as benefiting the rich while neglecting the poor.

Republicans have countered that giving tax refunds to families that pay little or no taxes is tantamount to welfare.

Davis, the freshman from the 7th Congressional District, said he introduced The Working Families Child Tax Credit Restoration Act of 2003 because he believes that low-income families are equally deserving of tax relief.

A report commissioned by Davis shows that approximately 47,000 families in Central and West Alabama would receive more than $20 million dollars under the bill.

The report estimates that 320,000 to 400,000 children across Alabama would be impacted by the proposed bill.

The bill would also extend the tax credit to veterans fighting in the Iraq war. It would also remove the marriage penalty for couples filing jointly that qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.