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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut

Larson, Ways and Means Committee Approve Historic Tax Relief for Working-Class Americans

June 21, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the Ways and Means Committee marked up four bills that will provide tax relief for working-class Americans. Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) voted to report these bills favorably out of committee.

“Yesterday’s vote was about values. These tax credits squarely benefit working-class Americans and families, unlike the 2017 GOP Tax Law that benefited the wealthy and corporations. 336,000 adults and children in Connecticut alone will benefit from these provisions. The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of our nation’s most successful tax policies in lifting people out of poverty, and this expansion will help thousands in Connecticut. Additionally, by making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable, it will now allow lower-income families to take advantage of it. Currently only 5 percent of families in Connecticut can benefit from the Child Dependent Care Tax Credit, this bill not only doubles it to $6,000, but it also phases the income threshold from $15,000 to $120,000, allowing more families to take advantage of it. In stark contrast to the GOP Tax Law, these provisions will be putting money back into the pockets of families who need it,” said Larson.

The four bills marked up today were the:

  1. Child Care Quality and Access Act, which invests $1 billion in child care funding.
  2. PRIDE Act, which makes technical changes to the tax code to affirm the dignity of LGBTQ+ married couples and allows same-sex couples who were married before the federal government recognized their marriage to file amended returns to claim refunds or credits.
  3. Economic Mobility Act, which expands the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) and permanently provides matching funds for the EITC and CTC in Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories.
  4. Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act, which extends expired tax provisions through 2020 and includes an extension of disaster tax relief provisions for victims of natural disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019

Victories for Connecticut:

Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act

  • Extension of the Biodiesel Tax Credit through 2020
  • Extension of the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit through 2020
  • Extension of Fuel Cell Vehicle Credit through 2020
  • Extension of Energy Efficiency Tax Credits through 2020, including investments in:
    • Retrofitting existing homes (25C)
    • Construction of new energy-efficient homes
    • Energy efficient commercial buildings (179D)
  • Extension of the New Markets Tax Credit through 2020
    • Larson is a cosponsor of the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 (H.R. 1680), and has long supported this credit. It has been utilized by projects in the First District such as:
      • The Swift Factory Rehab, Hartford
      • Community Health Centers Project: Construction of 3 facilities to help a FQHC serve more patients.
      • Charter Oak Health Center: Construction of a Community Health Center in Hartford
      • Financing for the construction of the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center
      • Colt Gateway - Mixed Use:  Office/Residential/Charter School
  • Extension of exclusion for mortgage debt forgiveness 
    • Important for those with crumbling foundations to ensure they don’t have to pay income tax on mortgage debt forgiveness if they are forced to short sell.
  • Medical Expense Deduction – Keeps the floor for eligibility at 7.5% of adjusted gross income through 2020 (which has risen to 10% for tax year 2019)
    • Larson is a lead sponsor of this bill with Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA) to make the 7.5% floor permanent and led the fight to preserve the medical expense deduction during the GOP Tax Law fight.

Economic Mobility Act

  • Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for 2019 and 2020. In the first district, about 14% of taxpayers qualify to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This bill will expand the eligibility of the tax credit to those without children and increase the maximum credit. Thousands of hardworking taxpayers in the First District will benefit from this expansion.
  • Makes the Child Tax Credit (CTC) fully refundable for 2019 and 2020, so that families receive the full $2,000 credit regardless of their income.
  • Expansion of the Child Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). For 2019 and 2020, the package would increase the tax credit to $3,000 per child for a maximum of $6,000, increase the income threshold above which the CDCTC is phased out from $15,000 to $120,000, and make the credit refundable so that all families can take advantage of it. Only about 5% of taxpayers in the First District are currently able to take advantage of the CDCTC because of the low phase out levels and lack of full refundability.  With the changes in this bill, thousands of families in the First District earning less than $50,000 will benefit from the increased credit amount, the refundable nature of the credit, and the increased limit. Families earning between $50,000 and $120,000 will also benefit from the increased phase out level, which better reflects the high cost of child care to working families.

The PRIDE Act

  • This package makes long-overdue changes to the tax code for LBGTQ+ couples.
  • It includes allowing LBGTQ+ couples to amend their returns back to the date of marriage in light of the Windsor decision. Larson an original cosponsor of this bill. This affects Connecticut couples, where same-sex marriages have been recognized since 2008.

The Child Care and Access Act

  • CT would receive an additional $9 million in federal child care funds under this bill.
  • The Congressional Research Service predicts that the increased investment proposed in this bill would help an additional 1,420 children in CT.

 

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