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Governor Proposes Tax Credit for 130,000 Minnesota Families

1/20/2015 10:14:43 AM

Governor Dayton proposes major expansion of Child and Dependent Care Credit

The Steffan family, the Clark family, and Barb Mikelson, a child care provider, shared their stories about how the Child Care Tax Credit would help their families.

Governor Mark Dayton today released details of his proposal to expand the Child and Dependent Care Credit in Minnesota, providing $99.9 million in direct tax relief to 130,000 Minnesota families. The Governor's proposal would expand eligibility for the tax credit, allowing more middle-income families to claim a refundable tax credit for costs associated with child care, and dependent care for family members who are aging, or have a disability. Under Governor Dayton's plan, the average family would receive $481; an eligible family could receive a maximum tax credit of $2,100 per year.

"Rising childcare costs have put hard financial strains on many Minnesota families, making it increasingly difficult for working parents to hold their jobs while assuring quality care for their children," said Governor Dayton. "My Child Care Tax Credit helps to provide Minnesota families with options - so they don't have to choose between working and caring for their families."

On average, child care in Minnesota costs $901 per month, or $10,812 per year, for one child. Because of the high cost of child care, many parents are forced to leave the workforce because it makes more financial sense to care for their children at home than keep their jobs. To make child care more affordable for working families, Governor Dayton is proposing a major expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Credit to help provide Minnesota families with greater economic security - and to provide more flexibility for families with small children, aging parents, and family members with disabilities.

Michelle Steffan, a working mother of two, and her husband, Jake, are among the 92,000 Minnesota families who would be newly-eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Credit proposed today by Governor Dayton. Michelle and Jake live in Minneapolis, and their children attend Jardin Spanish Immersion. The Steffans' weekly child care costs are $425 per week for two children; totaling nearly $22,000 annually. Under Governor Dayton's proposal, Michelle and her family would receive $1,200 to help offset their child care costs - direct tax relief that will make child care more affordable.

"It's important to me to keep working, so that I can maintain connections in my profession," said Michelle Steffen. "Right now, with a three-year-old and nine-month-old in our family, any income I make goes directly to the cost of child care. This tax credit would help my family's bottom line."

A Closer Look at the Governor's Proposal
Under current law, the Child and Dependent Care Credit provides direct tax relief to just 38,000 Minnesota families. But the plan proposed today by Governor Dayton this session would ensure that a total of 130,000 low- and middle-income families would receive the tax credit. The credit would also apply to families paying for dependent care for disabled or aging family members. The plan would keep the credit refundable, while retaining Minnesota's exceptions for newborns and daycare providers.

Here is a closer look at the governor's proposal, by the numbers:

38,000 - Number of families currently eligible for the tax credit
92,000 - Number of new families eligible under the Governor's proposal
130,000 - Number of families eligible for the tax credit under the Governor's proposal
$39,000 - Under current law, a family must make less than $39,000 to be eligible
$124,000 - Under the Governor's proposal, a family with two or more children earning less than $124,000 would be eligible for the tax credit
$2,100 - Maximum tax credit a family could receive under the Governor's proposal
$481 - Average tax credit per family under the Governor's proposal

Attachment:/governor/assets/childcare_tax_credit_fact_sheet_tcm1055-100707.pdfFACT SHEET: Making Child Care More Affordable

Attachment:/governor/assets/mn_stories_childcare_tax_credit_tcm1055-100715.pdfMinnesota Stories

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