Sen. King pushes for Child Care Tax Credit

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Your young children don’t file taxes. But, your tax reform could have a big impact on how they spend their days – and how much you spend for it.

Families in Maine and across the country depend on safe, reliable, and quality child care. Ryan Rackliffe is a parent of two. “You can’t really put a price on that stuff,” he said.

But, the Economic Policy Institute – a left-leaning DC-based think tank – did just that. It recently calculated the average cost of childcare in Maine as just less than seven-thousand dollars.

“I don’t want my daycare to get mad at me,” joked Rackliffe, “but it’s definitely an expense.”

Earlier this year, Senator Angus King of Maine proposed taking more of that cost into account on tax-day. “This is one of the greatest burdens on middle-class people is finding child care and finding affordable child care,” he said.

King wants to allow taxpayers to deduct 50 percent of the cost of child care, up from the current 30 percent cap. Asked if his idea had any chance of making it into the larger tax reform proposal up for debate on Capitol Hill King said, “It absolutely is part of the discussion, and there’s a lot of bi-partisan interest, that’s the good news.”

Despite support for the idea from Republicans and Ivanka Trump – it is not currently in either the House or Senate tax reform plan.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) said parents deserve more help. But, he thinks they’ll get just that from the plans currently on the table. “[The current House plan] is very helpful for our families, they’re taking care of kids, and other family members that are dependent on them.”

He said doubling the standard deduction and increasing the benefit just for having a child will accomplish the same goal King has.

King will have his chance to get his idea into the reform package soon; the Senate is expected to vote on the bill just after Thanksgiving.

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