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Advocates call for the permanent expansion of the child tax credit in Maine

As Congress negotiates a year-end tax package, progressive activists in Maine are urging the state's delegation to make a temporary expansion of the child tax credit permanent.

The COVID pandemic prompted Congress to boost the credit in last year from $2,000 per child to $3,000, plus another $600 for kids under six.

As lawmakers negotiate an end of the year tax package, Arthur Philips, a policy analyst with the Maine Center for Economic Policy, says they should reinstate the expanded tax credit, which he says cut child poverty in Maine nearly in half.

"I think this is really a matter of priorities between giving tax breaks to very profitable corporations, the biggest on earth, versus making sure the families have what they need to support their kids and give them a healthy childhood," he says.

Philips spoke at a press conference in Lewiston Monday organized by the progressive advocacy group the Maine People's Alliance. Speakers also included local residents, who said the expanded Child Tax Credit helped them afford higher rents and purchase school supplies.