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Maryland Senate passes legislation to award millions of dollars in tax credits for child care

Maryland’s state Senate unanimously passed legislation to greatly expand the number of residents who can receive tax credits to help pay for child care.

The Senate voted 47-0 in favor of Montgomery County Sen. Nancy King’s legislation that would provide millions of dollars more in tax credits for child and dependent care costs. A financial analysis found that the bill approved Monday night would cost $17.5 million in fiscal year 2020 and $20 million in fiscal year 2024.

In tax year 2017, about 22,700 taxpayers who make less than $50,000 annually claimed about $3.4 million in tax credits for child care costs under existing law.

King’s bill would allow those Marylanders to claim more in credits, while expanding the credits to residents who make more than $50,000 but less than $141,000.

That would expand the number of Marylanders eligible for the tax credits to about 114,200 taxpayers, according to a fiscal note.

Del. Ariana Kelly, a Montgomery County Democrat, is the House sponsor of the bill. The House version is pending in committee.

Advocates say child care costs are eating significantly into Marylanders’ paychecks.

In the city of Baltimore, child care typically costs more than $17,000 a year in Baltimore — nearly 30 percent of the median family’s income, according to the Maryland Family Network. In Baltimore County, average child care costs exceed $20,000 a year — nearly a quarter of median family income.

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