Friday, May 30, 2003

Child Tax Credit Puts Bush Team on Defensive

LA Times -- One day after President Bush signed one of the largest tax cuts in history, the White House and congressional Republicans were forced Thursday to defend the new law from charges that it will deny low-income taxpayers the refund checks that middle-class taxpayers will soon receive under the child tax credit.

At issue was a Senate-passed proposal that would have cost $3.5 billion, or 1% of the $350-billion final total of the tax cut and spending package.

Had the proposal been in the final legislation, some tax analysts calculate, nearly 12 million children in families with lower incomes — from $10,500 to $26,625 — would have received some benefit. Without it, experts say the expanded tax credit, which rises this year to $1,000 a child from $600, will mainly help families with incomes above $30,000 a year.

For instance, the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates, a married couple with two children and an income below $22,100 will not be eligible for one of millions of refund checks of up to $400 a child that the Treasury Department expects to mail starting in late July.

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