2018 Fiscal Year State Budget, NC Budget and Tax Center

Changes to child tax credit in Senate budget hurt middle class taxpayers

The Senate’s budget includes costly tax cuts that proponents claim are targeted towards middle class taxpayers. The tax cuts will cost $324 million for the upcoming fiscal year and will balloon to more than $800 million within five years. Rather than targeting middle class taxpayers, the proposed tax cuts largely benefit the highest income earners in the state and profitable corporations.

The proposed change to the existing Child Tax Credit included in the Senate’s budget makes this reality clear. Eligible taxpayers with dependent children currently get a tax credit of either $100 or $125, depending on the taxpayer’s income level. The Senate’s budget replaces this tax credit with a deduction, which allows the eligible taxpayer to deduct a portion of their taxable income. Under this tax change, middle income taxpayers will fare worse compared to the Child Tax Credit under current law.

Here are examples that highlight how taxpayers fare worse under the proposed tax change based on income levels and tax filing status:

  • Under the existing tax code, single filing taxpayers with adjusted gross income between $30,000 and $40,000 get a $100 tax credit for each child. Under the Senate’s budget, the proposed deduction equates to an $80.25 tax benefit for these taxpayers (under a reduced income tax rate of 5.35% included in the Senate budget).
  • Under the existing tax code, taxpayers filing as Head of Household with an adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $60,000 get a $100 tax credit for each child. Under the Senate’s budget, the proposed deduction equates to an $80.25 tax benefit for these taxpayers (under a reduced income tax rate of 5.35% included in the Senate budget).
  • Under the existing tax code, married taxpayers filing jointly with an adjusted gross income between $60,000 and $80,000 get a $100 tax credit for each child. Under the Senate’s budget, the proposed deduction equates to an $80.25 tax benefit for these taxpayers (under a reduced income tax rate of 5.35% included in the Senate budget).

The examples highlight that this proposed tax change in the Senate budget makes middle class taxpayers with children worse off, not better. As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail.

 

For more news and analysis during the budget debate, follow the Budget & Tax Center on Twitter @ncbudgetandtax.

 

Check Also

NC Senate proposal would expand the sales tax

Correction, posted May 19: The Budget and Tax ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A key House committee signed off on the chamber’s public school budget report Thursday, despite Demo [...]

Harold Brubaker, the former Republican House Speaker turned powerful lobbyist, tried to ram through [...]

A bill to limit local regulation of small cell towers is moving to a full House vote, despite concer [...]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the North Carolina GOP drew unconstitutionally racially ger [...]

The most shameful thing about the disastrous budget passed by the Senate two weeks ago is not the vi [...]

Court setbacks, public opinion, progressive activism and Trump bode ill for NC conservatives Profess [...]

So, the question as always comes down to one of vision. The elected chieftains who decide how much m [...]

2.8 billion---amount in dollars of needs in communities across the state for rebuilding efforts from [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more