RALEIGH (Dec. 15, 2021) – The Budget & Tax Center released two new publications today on the poverty-reducing impact of anti-poverty programs and family tax credits. In North Carolina and across the country, anti-poverty programs and family tax credits are helping families make ends meet.

Using unique data analysis from the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, the brief “Public policy must tackle poverty” estimates the effects of anti-poverty programs in moving people out of poverty and identifies some areas where policy choices could further maximize the benefits of these programs to families and the broader economy.

NC poverty cut in half through government programs

The brief explains that the poverty rate in North Carolina was cut in half after taking into account government programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) cash assistance, and family tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

Making family tax credit expansions permanent will mean lasting improvement in the lives of millions

The Budget & Tax Center also released commentary today highlighting the key role of the improved Child Tax Credit (CTC) in supporting family well-being and moving children out of poverty, and the importance of extending these improvements. Unless Congress acts to pass the Build Back Better bill before the end of the year, today marks the last day that families will receive monthly CTC payments.

Over 2 million children in North Carolina have benefited from the improved CTC, and an estimated 306,000 have been lifted out of deep poverty or above the poverty line. These gains will be lost if the CTC improvements are not extended.

“Research shows that 87% of North Carolina families with low incomes are using monthly CTC payments to pay for basic needs like food, housing, and utilities, and that nationally the improved CTC is driving down racial disparities in poverty rates,” says Logan Rockefeller Harris, Senior Policy Analyst with the NC Budget & Tax Center and author of the commentary. “Child poverty is a policy choice, and it’s time for Congress to pass Build Back Better and choose to continue support family’s well-being, rather than to lose the gains we’ve seen under the improved CTC.

As North Carolinians continue to struggle with the economic impact of COVID, lawmakers have the opportunity put forward meaningful and long-term policy solutions.

“When it comes to fighting poverty in North Carolina, programs like SNAP, TANF, and family tax credits are having a significant impact on people’s lives. State lawmakers have the opportunity to make policy choices that ensure these programs are available to all North Carolinians who need them at a level that makes a meaningful difference in a family’s ability to afford the basics,” says Heba Atwa, Senior Policy Advocate with the NC Budget & Tax Center.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Mel Umbarger, Budget & Tax Center Senior Communications Specialist, at mel@ncjustice.org.