As policymakers consider whether to extend key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) that are due to expire at the end of 2017, rural families have lots at stake — more than 2 million of them, with more than 4 million children, would lose all or part of their EITC, CTC, or both.
All told, nearly 5 million workers outside of metropolitan areas with almost 6 million children claimed the EITC in 2013 (the most recent year for which we have data). More than 3 million such families claimed refunds through the low-income (or refundable) portion of the CTC, averaging about $1,400.
If policymakers don’t extend the key provisions, many low-income working families would lose their entire CTC. For example, a single parent with two children working full time as a construction worker or child care provider for the minimum wage and earning $14,500 would lose his or her entire CTC of $1,725.
That’s why it’s critical for rural families that policymakers make the EITC and CTC provisions permanent.