(Tuesday, February 9, 2021—Washington, DC) “I thank House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, for the leadership’s commitment to Puerto Rico by including full extension of the Child Tax Credit in the Budget Reconciliation bill. Make no mistake, this is a historic breakthrough in our fight for equal treatment as American citizens. The full Child Tax Credit will encourage economic growth, support Puerto Rican families, and strengthen our communities”. said Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi.
The legislation sponsored by the Democratic majority in Congress calls for an increase on the size of the Child Tax Credit, which under current law provides $2,000 for children under 17 years of age. For years, residents of Puerto Rico have been subject to an unfair and disproportionate treatment where the refundable portion of the Child Credit only applies to families with three or more children.
- In 2021, the legislation provides for $3,600 over a year for children under 6 and $3,000 for children under 18. These amounts apply to Puerto Rico.
- The payments would phase out for individuals making more than $75,000 and couples $150,000.
- Starting on January 1, 2022 the 3-children limitation will no longer apply to Puerto Rico.
According to the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, Biden’s economic relief agenda – including the Child Tax Credit Boost and other measures – would cut the U.S. child poverty rate in half.
Additionally, Congress will reimburse Puerto Rico for expanding its Earned Income Tax Credit (“EITC”). The U.S. Treasury will provide a match of up to three times the current cost of Puerto Rico EITC if the island chooses to expand its current EITC. This would increase labor participation and provide much needed tax credits to workers.
The legislation also includes a third round of stimulus payments at $1,400 per family member, for individual taxpayers earning less than $100,000, for head of household earning less than $150,000, and under $200,000 for joint filers.
“Today, Congress has unveiled legislation that provides much-needed relief to families struggling against economic hardship and children living in poverty. We are grateful for the congressional leadership’s efforts in making this a reality for all Puerto Ricans in need,” affirmed Executive Director for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (“PRFAA”), Carmen Feliciano.
Moreover, the Governor highlighted: “We are one step closer to achieving equality for our people. Full extension of the Child Tax Credit to Puerto Rican families and inclusion of EITC program has been a priority for the Government of Puerto Rico for many years, and during her tenure in Congress, our Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón has been a champion of ensuring that American citizens on the island have access to these programs. We estimate that thousands in Puerto Rico would benefit from these credits. It is certainly a game-changer for our families and for our economy,” Pierluisi added.