Make the Rescue Plan tax credits permanent and expand them to Colorado income taxes too

Many of us are familiar with the American Dream, but lately, more of us are living a much different American Reality. It’s one that looks less and less like the opportunity we were promised, and more and more like another unpaid bill stacked on top of living costs that eat up entire paychecks. This wasn’t what we were promised, and it’s certainly not what we deserve.

That’s why the inclusion of an expanded child tax credit in the American Rescue Plan Act is a game-changer for Colorado families. Advanced for years by Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, the provision will dramatically increase both the amount of the tax credit as well as the number of households eligible for it. Nearly 90% of Colorado’s children will benefit from the expanded child tax credit. Now, we must work to make this change permanent.

No matter where we come from, our color, or what we do for a living, Coloradans work hard for their families. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic families faced rising costs of living and non-livable wages, but today Black and Brown communities have borne the brunt of the economic emergency created by COVID-19. While those at the top recover more quickly, too many people who earn low incomes have been the most likely to be laid off or risk their health working on the front lines.

For those of us with children, it’s an even harder reality to face as child care costs continue to climb. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average cost of infant care in Colorado is just above $15,000 per year. The average cost of child care for 4-year-olds is nearly $13,000, and if you’re like many who juggle both a toddler and an infant, the Economic Policy Institute goes on to point out these combined child care costs amount to 50% more than the average cost of rent in our state. And when you struggle to afford what’s in front of you, the prospect of saving for the massive and critical expense of higher education later is just too much.