(The Center Square) – An Ohio legislative plan to cover gaps created for middle- and low-income families when pandemic-era money ended is back in the Ohio House.
The bill would give a $1,000 per year tax credit for children age 0 to 5 and $500 annually for children 6 to 17. Families with an annual household income of $65,000 or less would qualify for the full credit. It is reduced for those making between $65,000 and $85,000 a year.
“With nationwide inflation and rising costs, Ohio families need our help,” said Rep. Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson. “Support for child tax credits is growing and is bipartisan. It’s time to actually make Ohio the best place to raise a family.”
The bill, part of the Democrats’ “People First Agenda,” would benefit children in all 88 counties, Weinstein said. He said that in 2021 Ohio ranked 35th for child food insecurity, and 13 other states currently offer child tax credits.
The Children’s Defense Fund of Ohio and the Ohio Food Banks support the bill.
According to the 2023 Kids Count Data Book, 276,000 children in Ohio live in high poverty, ranking Ohio 38th in the country. The report showed Ohio also ranked 29th in child well-being.
Anthony Tippet, a policy associate at Children’s Defense Fund, said 5 million additional children across the country fell into poverty when the federal child tax credit was removed following the pandemic.
“Today, we have a chance to remove Ohio from the list of states that contribute to that statistic,” Tippet said. “Child poverty is not inevitable. We all have the power to end child poverty. This piece of legislation represents a step toward that future. In a state where 20 % of children live in poverty, we need to do more. Where 1 in 7 children live in food insecurity, we need to do more. No one can tell people how best to spend the money for their children.”
Two similar proposals were introduced in last year’s General Assembly session and received support from groups like Policy Matters Ohio. Neither proposal passed.