New proposal gives needed boost to Arkansas’s working families

Half a million Arkansas children stand to benefit

United States Senators Sherrod Brown, Michael Bennet, Dick Durbin and Ron Wyden today introduced the Working Families Tax Relief Act, legislation that would begin to fix our tax laws to help working people with low-wage jobs make ends meet as they work to support themselves and their families. The proposal would strengthen the highly successful Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families with children and working people without children at home, ensure that millions of poor children aren’t left out of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and boost the CTC for families with very young children.

“Many of America’s low-income working families are struggling to stay afloat as costs have risen faster than their pay over several decades,” said Bruno Showers of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. “The Working Families Tax Relief Act would give working people a fair shot to get ahead and help low-income parents give their children a good start in life.”

In Arkansas, the Working Families Tax Relief proposal would make 476,000 families more financially secure, benefiting more than 1,187,000 Arkansans including 523,000 Arkansas children. It would benefit low- and middle-income Arkansans of all races, including 316,000 White families, 108,000 Black families, 36,000 Latinx families, and 5,400 Asian American families.

The proposal stands in stark contrast to the 2017 tax law, which was heavily tilted in favor of corporations and the wealthy. For example, under the proposal, a single mom of two earning $20,000 a year would get a $3,700 boost to her income. And a married couple with two young kids making $45,000 a year would get a $3,500 boost.

For working families, this would mean more money for necessities, home repairs, maintaining a car to get to work, or in some cases, additional education or training to get a better, higher-paying job.

Nationally, the proposal would cut child poverty by 28 percent, lifting 3.1 million children out of poverty and making another 7.7 million children less poor.

“The Working Families Tax Relief Act would have lasting benefits for millions of children,” said Showers. “Kids whose families receive working family tax credits do better in school, are likelier to attend college, and are likely to earn more as adults. That’s important not only for the children themselves but for our country and economy.”

To learn more, please visit the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.