New Jersey lawmakers are trying to correct a mistake that would have delayed the implementation of a state-level child tax credit by a year.
In June, the Legislature passed — and Governor Phil Murphy signed into law — a bill providing New Jersey residents with a refundable tax credit per child of up to $500.
But following a drafting error, the enacted version of the bill would not come into effect until the 2023 tax year, leaving the credit unpaid for 2022 tax returns, even though its $18 million cost has been factored into the current year’s spending plan. approved in June.
The cleanup bill would make the credit apply to 2021 tax bills.
“This bill was always intended to provide immediate relief to families with young children, so we’re grateful lawmakers are coming back to make it right,” said Nicole Rodriguez, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Programs like the Child Tax Credit are exactly how we’re making New Jersey an affordable place to raise a family, especially for those who struggle the most with rising costs.”
New Jersey Policy Perspective and other progressive groups have been pushing for the inclusion of a state-level child tax credit in this year’s budget, and Rodriguez said his group would seek to work with it. legislators to extend it in the coming years.
Cleaning is no surprise. A day after Murphy signed the bill, he released a joint statement with Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate Speaker Nicholas Scutari and his sponsors saying they intended the credit to be available. for the 2022 filings and pledged to correct its text at some point in the future.
But lawmakers knew the bill was flawed before they voted to send it to the governor’s office. Assemblyman Hal Wirths (R-Sussex), who was one of two Assembly lawmakers to vote against the bill, noted the error at the time.
“On the floor, I literally pointed out that they had the wrong date on the thing, and it was almost robotic to drop it all in and not listen,” Wirths said. “It’s politics. I’m in the minority, I understand, but I find it a bit funny.
Wirth’s motion to amend the bill was tabled in a party-line vote.
The Assembly’s Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee is due to hear the cleanup bill on Monday, and the full chamber could move it forward that day.
The Senate is expected to vote on the bill during its Thursday session. Senate lawmakers took their version of the bill straight to second reading, ruling out the need for a committee hearing.
The measure cleared both houses in largely bipartisan votes, receiving only two negative votes in the Assembly and six in the Senate. The cleanup is unlikely to encounter significant opposition. Murphy, likewise, is expected to sign the bill.
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