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ICYMI: Washington should follow Florida’s lead on Puerto Rico child tax credit

Oct 7, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington should follow Florida’s lead on Puerto Rico child tax credit
By Cesar Conda
October 3, 2019
Orlando Sentinel
The CTC is a true success story. It reduces child poverty, encourages work, and is uncontroversial. The policy fully applies in all 50 U.S. states and has only grown more generous over time. Yet our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico are not granted these same benefits through the CTC — unless they move to Florida.
Several proposals pending before Congress seek to fix this inconsistency. Sen. Marco Rubio has cosponsored bipartisan legislation that makes Puerto Rican families fully eligible for the CTC without having to move to the state to claim it. The bill, which was introduced back in March, is pending before a Senate committee. Identical CTC legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Jennifer González-Colón in January of this year — her first bill this Congress. That bill also continues to languish in committee despite its bipartisan backing.
The Rubio and González-Colón proposals are consistent with current law in Puerto Rico that enables a family claiming the credit to receive a refund directly from the federal government. Competing proposals being considered by Congress would distribute the tax credits in a lump sum to the Governor of Puerto Rico for distribution. That would be a mistake. No taxpayer should have to wait for their governor to release a payment that the federal government has already determined is due. This is particularly true in Puerto Rico, where disaster relief funding is already bottlenecked at the governor’s mansion.
Puerto Ricans, who pay federal payroll taxes as well as other federal taxes, deserve the same respect and dignity afforded to other U.S. citizens. And putting money directly into the pockets of Puerto Rican families will boost consumer spending on goods and services and help the island’s economy recover.

Florida recognizes the wisdom and the benefits of extending the Child Tax Credit to all children in Puerto Rican families. It is time for Washington to do the same.
Read the rest here.