Harris rolls out bill to create new middle class tax credit

Harris rolls out bill to create new middle class tax credit
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden says family will avoid business conflicts Biden says China must play by 'international norms' MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday rolled out a proposal to create a new refundable tax credit for low- and middle-income individuals and families — the latest economic policy proposal from the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

“Americans are working harder than ever but stagnant wages mean they can’t keep up with cost of living increases,” Harris said in a news release. “We should put money back into the pockets of American families to address rising costs of childcare, housing, tuition, and other expenses. Our tax code should reflect our values and instead of more tax breaks for the top 1% and corporations, we should be lifting up millions of American families.”

Under Harris's bill, families would receive a tax credit of up to $6,000. Families making up to $100,000 annually would be eligible for the credit, with the credit amount phasing out as a taxpayers' income increases. Taxpayers could receive the credit either at the end of a year or in monthly installments over the course of a year. 


The bill would also increase funding for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which helps low-income taxpayers prepare their tax returns.

Harris envisions paying for the bill by repealing parts of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE's tax-cut law that don't provide relief for taxpayers making under $100,000, and by imposing fees on financial institutions with assets of more than $50 billion.

The rollout of the bill comes days before Harris is set to visit Iowa, home of the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Harris, who is often floated as a possible presidential candidate, is expected to use her time in Iowa to boost candidates for Congress and state offices ahead of the midterm elections.

She is also slated to visit South Carolina and Wisconsin in the coming days.

This isn't the first bill proposal from Harris in recent months to call for a new tax credit to help people deal with rising costs of living. Over the summer, she offered legislation that would create a tax credit for people who pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent and utilities.

Harris is one of a number of Democrats who have expressed interest in undoing parts of the tax law to pay for programs that would help lower- and middle-income taxpayers. Senate Democrats have also proposed rolling back parts of the law to pay for new infrastructure investments.

"Americans want a tax system that's fair, and they're tired of seeing benefits go to the wealthy and corporations while everyone else struggles to get ahead. We need real action to provide financial relief to the working and middle-class, which is exactly what [Harris's] bill does,” said Natalie Foster, co-chair of the Economic Security Project, which has similarly proposed a tax credit for working families.