Harris County Tax Support Initiative Pumps over $10 Million Into Local Economy

April 18, 2022

County Judge Lina Hidalgo today released new data on Harris County’s efforts to increase adoption of the Biden-Harris Administration’s expanded child tax credit - a tax benefit designed to help families raising children. Through acounty partnership with BakerRipley, Harris County helped local low-income families claim over $10 million in tax credits - money that may otherwise have gone unclaimed, will now be used to help our local economy grow.

In October last year, Harris County Commissioners Court approved $500,000 to help residents understand how to applyfor and receive additional tax credits through a partnership with BakerRipley. The funds hired additional staff, supported grassroots outreach, and allowed BakerRipley to launch new mobile tax centers, taking tax support intoneighborhoods to reach families who need it most.

Overall, the county’s initiative helped more than 6,000 families file their taxes, at no cost, with expert volunteer support - helping them avoid filing fees. Additionally, the initiative helped families claim the child tax credit for more than 3,000 children. Of the $10 million in tax credits claimed, just over $5 million were for expanded child tax credits, and about $5 million were for earned income tax credits.

The expanded Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provided major tax relief for most American families by offering the largest child tax credit in history. Thanks to the plan, tax credits for families increased from $2,000 per child to $3,600 per child under 5 and $3,000 per child aged 6-17. Additionally, under the new tax credit, some familiesreceived funds sooner, with the IRS sending monthly payments (up to half of the total amount), starting in July.

“Today, 1 in 5 children in Harris County live in poverty. Almost half of those live in deep poverty, meaning they livewith family income below half of the poverty line,” said Judge Hidalgo. “I’m proud to see these results, which help tackle child poverty while pumping dollars into our economy, which continues its recovery from brutal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”