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Maryland’s General Assembly on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed legislation to greatly expand the number of residents who can receive tax credits to help pay for child care.

The House of Delegates voted 136-1 in favor of Del. Ariana Kelly’s legislation to provide millions of dollars more in tax credits for child and dependent care costs. A financial analysis found that the measure would cost $10.9 million in fiscal year 2020 and $12.3 million in fiscal year 2024.

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“Everyone is struggling to pay for child care,” said Kelly, a Montgomery County Democrat. “This is an issue that cuts across party lines.”

Kelly said the size of the credit will vary — from about $350 to $800 per family — depending on how many kids a family has and the family’s income.

Kelly said the bill applies to elder care as well.

The Senate had already passed the bill by a 45-0 vote. It now advances to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk for his consideration.

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.

Kelly’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 $143,000.

That would expand the number of Marylanders eligible for the tax credits to about 111,000 taxpayers, according to a fiscal note.

Sen. Nancy King, a Montgomery County Democrat, is the Senate sponsor of the bill.

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 — 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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