WASHINGTON -- Ahead of Tax Day and the IRS Commissioner’s annual appearance before the Senate and House, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, along with 46 Senate Democrats, introduced theWorking Families Tax Relief Act.
At a time when wages are stagnant and the cost of childcare has exploded, the Working Families Tax Relief Actwould cut taxes for workers and families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). EITC and CTC are two of the most effective tools we have to put money back in the pockets of working people and pull children out of poverty. After hard-working families in New Mexico were cheated by the current administration’s and Republicans’ tax policies, expanding these tax credits will give more New Mexicans a foothold in the middle class and provide relief to millions of Americans across the country.
New Mexico already has “one of the worst income inequality rates in the nation” and is ranked sixth in the country for states where income inequality is growing at the fastest rate. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Working Families Tax Relief Act would benefit 841,000 New Mexicans, including 368,000 children and 50,000 Native Americans by expanding the EITC and CTC.
“New Mexico is a state of hard-working people who balance child care, jobs, and endless other responsibilities in their day-to-day life. But so many New Mexicans are scrambling to make ends meet and being forced to choose between the essentials just to stay afloat. All across New Mexico, working families are falling out of a shrinking middle class, instead of climbing up, and they’re feeling the squeeze of this president’s latest tax law,” said Udall.“Our tax code should reflect our values as a nation -- not line the pockets of President Trump, his family, billionaire donors, and multinational corporations with a massive tax break. Rather than rewarding those who already have millions, we should show American teachers, small business owners, farmers, and the middle class that their work is important, that they have value, and that we stand by them. It’s long past time for Congress to pass tax reforms that actually work for working families in New Mexico and across the country – and this bill is an important step in the right direction.”
“Too many hardworking families in New Mexico find themselves struggling to make ends meet each month. These tax credits have proven to be one of our most effective ways to lift low-income workers and families out of poverty by allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. I’m supporting this legislation to level the playing field so everyone has an opportunity to get ahead,” said Heinrich.
“We’re happy this bill has the support of New Mexico’s two senators. The Working Families Tax Relief Act will benefit hundreds of thousands of New Mexico families, which will improve outcomes for their children,” said James Jimenez, Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children, a child advocacy organization that works on tax fairness issues. “When we improve outcomes for kids, we strengthen New Mexico and create a brighter future for everyone.”
The Working Families Tax Relief Act would:
- Boost the incomes of 46 million households and 114 million people, including 43 million children.
- Lift 7 million people out of poverty, including 3 million children.
- Expand the EITC for families with children by roughly 25 percent.
- Significantly expand the EITC for workers without children and make the credit available for people starting at age 19 up to age 67. Currently, workers without children can be pulled under the poverty line by taxes. Expanding the EITC would fix that.
- Make the CTC fully refundable, so the more than 26 million children who were left out of the Trump tax law get the support they deserve.
- Create a Young Child Tax Credit to provide extra support to children five and under, when research says they need it most.
- Allow workers to draw a $500 advance payment on their EITC so that families aren’t forced to turn to predatory payday lenders when the car breaks down or other unexpected expenses come up.
Read more about the bill HERE.
The bill was led by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and in addition to Udall and Heinrich, was cosponsored by Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.) Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Casey (D- Penn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn,), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Jacky Rosen (Nev.).