Connecticut transfers millions of COVID reliefs to tax credit for low-income families


Connecticut will soon provide an additional boost in state income tax credits to nearly 200,000 low to moderate income families using federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office on Wednesday said in an announcement that the additional tax refunds, which will be given to families already benefiting from the state’s earned income tax credit program, will provide economic support to those “Disproportionately overburdened by COVID-19 and its negative economic effects. repercussions. “

The Connecticut Tax Services Department will take retroactive action to increase its 2020 tax credit from 23% of the federal credit to 41.5%. The boost will apply to all households that earned up to $ 56,844 in 2020 and claimed the earned income tax credit that year.

“Improved Connecticut 2020 Earned Income Tax Credit offers direct relief to workers doing their best to support their families while facing pandemic costs, masks and testing child care and Internet access, ”Lamont said in the ad.

The $ 75 million bill for the credit increase will be funded by the remainder of Connecticut’s $ 1.38 billion coronavirus relief. The state has also used relief funds to purchase PPE, improve access to COVID-19 testing, and provide financial support to schools, small businesses, hospitals and other organizations affected by the pandemic.

The state’s revenue department plans to send reimbursement checks to eligible recipients by the end of February.

Connecticut will soon provide an additional boost in state income tax credits to nearly 200,000 low to moderate income families using federal COVID-19 relief funds, Governor Ned’s office said on Wednesday. Lamont. Above, Lamont speaks at a community COVID-19 vaccination clinic on March 14, 2021 in Stamford, Connecticut.
John Moore / Getty Images

The amount each household pays will ultimately depend on the size of their federal tax credit, which the IRS calculates based on the taxpayer’s income, marital status, and number of eligible children. A single parent of two children, for example, whose income hits the federal poverty line and who received a state credit of $ 1,246 in the spring will now receive an additional $ 1,002, according to Lamont’s office.

The Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit was created in 2011 and has had variable rates for the past decade.

Republican lawmakers criticized Lamont for deciding on his own to send checks to people who will already benefit from an income tax credit extension that was included in the state’s last budget.

Parliamentary Minority Leader Vincent Candelora and Representative Holly Cheeseman, House Republican on the Finance Committee, issued a joint statement saying the money could be spent on other “urgent matters” such as the financing of organizations fighting against domestic violence, the reduction of the debt of the unemployment fund. that companies will eventually have to pay back, or the establishment of a COVID-19 testing program to keep students in school.

“This unilateral and retroactive change in fiscal policy brought by Governor Lamont is not just political pimping,” they said, “it is a slap in the face of the legislature.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Connecticut COVID Relief
The $ 75 million bill for the Connecticut tax credit increase will be funded by the remainder of the state’s $ 1.38 billion coronavirus relief money. The state has also used relief funds to purchase PPE and improve access to COVID-19 testing. Above, health workers process COVID-19 PCR tests at an outdoor testing site near Long Island Sound on December 23 in Stamford, Connecticut.
John Moore / Getty Images


Julio V. Miller