Illinois Politics

Illinois will soon have a new child tax credit program. Here's how much you could get

When it was first proposed earlier this year, officials aimed to make a $300 tax credit available for each child in a qualifying household

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Illinois' new budget, which is now headed to the governor's desk waiting to be signed, includes a measure that would give families in the state a "child tax credit."

The measure, which was approved as part of the budget from both the Senate and the House this week, would give millions in funds to create a new child tax credit for families in the state.

When it was first proposed earlier this year, officials aimed to make a $300 tax credit available for each child in a qualifying household.

The approved budget includes "investments for $50 million for a child tax credit for eligible low-income families with earned income tax credit as well as wage increases for direct support professionals and Community Care Program workers and increased funds for safety net hospitals."

The funds for this come from increased sports wagering taxes and on video gambling. Pritzker wanted the tax, paid by casino sportsbooks, to jump from 15% to 35%, but it was set on a sliding scale from 20% to 40%.

“This plan invests millions more in our schools, reinforces after-school and summer youth programs and creates a new child tax credit that will provide assistance to families with young kids," State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, lead budget negotiator for the House Democratic Caucus, said in a statement.

According to the text of the original bill, individual taxpayers would be eligible if their annual income was $50,000 or below, with that limit rising to $75,000 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

According to a study published by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, the bill would impact more than 800,000 households, reducing childhood poverty by 3.3% and lifting nearly 14,000 children out of poverty. The credit would offer them an average of $300 to $600 credit for each family with children under the age of 12.

“With passage of this budget, thousands of households – parents, caretakers, and children in Illinois – will get extra money every year to put food on the table, pay rent, get childcare and other basic needs that no family should have to forgo in our state," State Sen. Mike Simmons said in a statement.

The Illinois House passed the $53.1 billion state budget early Wednesday morning, approving a plan that is $400 million more than Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed in February and raises taxes and makes other tax code changes to generate $1.2 billion to fund it.

The budget, which was also passed by the Senate over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, now heads to Pritzker's desk, where it awaits his signature.

“This budget is balanced, responsible and fair,” Gordon-Booth, a Peoria Democrat, told the Executive Committee. “It invests in children, it invests in infrastructure, it also invests in our most vulnerable.”

Republicans complained that Democrats, who control the Legislature, are spending beyond their means and not preparing for what many predict are lean years ahead. Deputy House Republican Leader Norine Hammond of Macomb said she found at least $1 billion in spending that would be pushed off to the following fiscal year.

“I have a concerns that there are gimmicks in this budget that put us on a path to a giant collision in the future," Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, a Jacksonville Republican, told Gordon-Booth. “I hope I don't have to say, ‘I told you so’ when it happens."

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