New Poll: Big Majority of Voters Support Child and Family Tax Credit that Reaches $600

77% support $600 credit per dependent for families caring for children, seniors, or adults with disabilities.

Newly conducted polling shows 77% of registered Massachusetts voters support the creation of a Child and Family Tax Credit of $600. The Massachusetts legislature is currently debating two competing proposals, one of which would provide a per-dependent benefit nearly twice as large as the other.

Over two-thirds of voters in the poll supported the larger, $600 proposal regardless of region, age, race, gender, income, or political party. Fully 86% of respondents with children supported the proposal. Ten percent of respondents did not know or did not answer.

States around the country are recognizing the need to help families with direct cash support. Nine other states created or expanded child tax credits so far this year. Minnesota, Colorado, New Jersey, and Oregon just enacted refundable child tax credits more generous than either of the proposals Massachusetts legislators are considering.

The Massachusetts House and Senate tax package proposals would provide a tax credit for all families caring for any children under age 13, adults over age 65, or adults with disabilities. The chambers differ on whether the tax refund would indefinitely remain at $310 per dependent, or increase to $600 over two years, and then increase with inflation. Poll results show that 77% of voters support a $600 credit.

Over 100 community, research, and advocacy organizations sent a letter to legislators negotiating between the two proposals, urging them to “recognize the cost of caregiving for Massachusetts families” and embrace the more generous version of the credit put forward by the House.

According to a February statement from the Governor’s office, “this would put money directly back into the pockets of 700,000 taxpayers in connection with more than 1 million dependents, helping families keep up with rising costs for child and senior care and bringing people back into the workforce to meet employer demand.”

Evidence shows that refundable child tax credits help families meet basic expenses and reduce poverty. Massachusetts families with children and adult dependents struggle with some of the highest costs for housing and child care in the nation.

“The overwhelming support for the Massachusetts Child and Family Tax Credit comes as no surprise,” said Jason Wright, Senior Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. “Legislators face some hard choices, but the poll shows this one is clear. Putting cash in the hands of families with children and adult dependents is a simple, effective way to help Bay Staters move from surviving to thriving.”

The poll question asked likely voters about their support based on the following information: “Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a new Child and Family Tax Credit. It will be a tax cut for all Massachusetts families caring for any children under age 13, adults over age 65, or adults with disabilities. The tax refund would start at $310 per dependent, increase to $600 over two years, and then increase with inflation after that. It streamlines the law by replacing two much smaller existing credits.”

These results are based on a survey of 1,013 residents of Massachusetts. Responses were collected online August 7-16, 2023 in English and Spanish. Results were weighted to known and estimated population parameters on age, gender, race, party identification, education, and geography. The credibility interval is +/- 3.4 percentage points for the entire sample, including the design effect. These questions were sponsored by the Economic Security Project.

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