The proposed Child and Family Tax Credit would help families by providing a refundable credit each year for each child under 13 and dependent adults over 65 years of age or with disabilities. It simplifies existing benefits and removes the existing penalty for large families. The legislature is considering two competing proposals, one that would provide a $310 credit per dependent without indexing to inflation and one that would ramp up to $600 per dependent and would be adjusted for inflation each year.
The dashboard below identifies – by legislative district – how many dependents would be eligible for the proposed Child and Family Tax Credit. The dashboard also allows you to see how much money would go to each district under the two proposals. The dashboard uses the most current legislative district boundaries.
Select the “Your District,” tab and choose the district from the dropdown. The table displays the district’s number of eligible dependent children under 13, the number of eligible adult dependents, and the percent of the district’s population that is eligible for the credit.
The tabs, labeled “MA House” and “MA Senate,” display maps of the House and Senate districts. Hover (hold your cursor over) any legislative district on the map to display data for that district.
Both proposals would consolidate and enhance two existing, fully refundable dependent credits: the Household Dependent Tax Credit (HDTC) and Dependent Care Tax Credit (DCTC), At present, families must choose between these credits, and the benefit is capped at two dependents, which penalizes larger families. The current maximum DCTC benefit is 25 percent higher than claiming the HDTC, which disadvantages alternative care arrangements like family and home-based care.
At present, a family with two young children and a dependent adult would receive a maximum of $480 annually, compared to three separate credits under both proposals being considered by the legislature. Table 1 shows the difference in total credit available for families with three or four dependents under current law and the two proposals under consideration.
|Maximum Credit Under Current Law and Proposals|
|Dependents||Current Credits||$310 Proposal||$600 Proposal|
The dashboard utilizes data from the U.S. Census Bureau to show how many dependents would be eligible for the proposed Child and Family Tax Credit (CFTC) in each legislative district. On average there will be just over 6,000 eligible dependents per House district and 24,000 eligible dependents per Senate district, which have larger populations. Fully 91 percent of eligible dependents are children.
An expanded CFTC would reach families in greatest need of support and help advance racial equity. Communities of color bear a disproportionate share of the burden of economic hardship in the Commonwealth. For example, white residents in Massachusetts have a lower poverty rate than do Black residents. Our analysis of Census data suggests that BIPOC communities would particularly benefit from the Governor’s proposed CFTC due to a greater share of those eligible for the credit compared to their share of the state population. The top districts in terms of population eligible for the credit also tend to have larger BIPOC communities.