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How to Make Tax Reform “For Kids”

As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act moves to conference, Congress has an opportunity to help kids and families.

The "Against Kids" Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently passed both the House and the Senate. This monumental bill is not law yet -- a bipartisan committee of members from both houses will have to settle the differences between the two bills. Common Sense Kids Action sent a letter to the committee members letting them know how they can turn the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into a "For Kids" bill.

Here are our suggestions:

Expand the child tax credit (CTC) to working-class families

Both the House and Senate versions of the tax bill expanded the CTC from $1,000 per child to $1,600 and $2,000, respectively. However, because the CTC only applies to income taxes, not payroll taxes, as many as 10 million kids in low-income families would be left out. Congress should maximize the number of kids who can benefit from the CTC by allowing parents to start qualifying for the credit with their first dollar earned.

Let families deduct their state and local taxes

State and local taxes pay for programs that help kids, families, and communities thrive, including schools. However, both versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would no longer allow families to deduct their state and local sales and income taxes. States will be forced to choose between slashing funding for education and other necessary services or having families face a higher tax burden that they can't afford. Congress should let families keep this vital deduction.

Don't jeopardize the health insurance market's stability

Having affordable, high-quality health insurance that covers six-month checkups as well as broken bones is critical for families. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate in the Senate bill would harm parents' ability to obtain this care. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office ruled that this move would increase premiums by 10 percent and lead to 13 million fewer Americans having insurance. Congress shouldn't throw in any measures that would drastically destabilize the health insurance markets to pay for a tax reform bill.

Tell your members of Congress to oppose this harmful bill as it stands.

Kelsey Kober
Policy Associate