Schumer: Child tax credit will help lift Oswego County families out of poverty

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer told Oswego County families Tuesday that a massive coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress will help cut the child poverty rate in half in one of New York’s poorest counties.

The American Rescue Plan includes an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,000 per child that will be worth $42 million to families in Oswego County this year, Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a visit to Fulton.

Oswego County has the eighth-highest poverty rate out of New York’s 62 counties, and about 30% of children in the county live in poverty, Schumer said.

The $1.9 trillion bill signed into law by President Biden last month will almost double the child tax credit for families in what Schumer called one of the most significant actions to fight poverty in a generation.

“In the midst of the pandemic and economic crisis, this tax credit becomes all the more important for low- and middle-income families with young children who are trying to put food on the table,” Schumer said in a visit outside of Oswego County Opportunities in Fulton.

Families will be able to claim a child tax credit of $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 this year, and $3,600 for each child under the age of 6.

“That’s not going to make anyone rich, but it’s going to give families breathing room,” Schumer said as he spoke with five children and their parents from Oswego County by his side.

All told, the child tax credit is expected to provide $237 million for Central New York families, including $167 million in Onondaga County, Schumer said.

The IRS is expected to send installment payments to those who don’t claim the credit on their tax returns.

The full child tax credit is available to families that earn less than $150,000 per year. The credit phases out for those with higher incomes.

All told, about 3.5 million children in New York are expected to benefit from the expanded credit this year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.