Bob Menéndez and Marco Rubio Partner to Give Puerto Rico Families Tax Breaks
Recent studies show children whose families receive child tax credit do better in school and are more likely to attend college. Puerto Rican families should be entitled to use the same child tax credits on the island that taxpayers get to use stateside, according to Senators Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). The pair last week introduced the Child Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Rico Act to correct a long-standing discrepancy in the federal tax code that treats 355,000 American families living in Puerto Rico as second class by denying those with one or two children a tax benefit they would otherwise be entitled if they lived on the U.S. mainland. “There is zero justification for treating any American citizen as second class based solely on their zip code, let alone when we are talking about the ability for struggling families to care for their our children,” said Menéndez. “Putting more money in people’s pockets will help make families more financially secure and stimulate the local economy at a time when Puerto Rico is still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.” The legislation would amend the tax code and would provide nearly $273 million to families living on the island. “Giving Puerto Rican families equal treatment for the Child Tax Credit is long overdue,” said Rubio. Puerto Rico has the highest poverty rate of anywhere in the U.S., according to census data, with the lowest household income, $19,518, and the majority of children on the island living near or under the poverty level, with 39% considered extremely poor. More here.