New tax credits aim to support Pennsylvanians with housing, child care costs


On today’s episode of The Confluence:

Pennsylvania passes a childcare tax credit, utilizing budget surplus
(0:00 – 6:57 )

With a new state budget comes new tax credits for Pennsylvanians.

The state has created its own Child Tax Credit, which will return up to 30% of child care-related expenses filers claim on their federal return. There’s already a federal Child Tax Credit in effect, which was created in 1997 as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act.

“This is now a permanent part of Pennsylvania’s tax code,” says Kate Huangpu, government reporter with Spotlight PA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom. “Unless the General Assembly and the next governor and future governor would write it out and remove it, it’s going to be a part of our tax code for the foreseeable future.”

The amount allocated for the program this year is $25 million, but Huangpu says that could change from year to year.

Local parent testified before Congress about burnout among working mothers
(7:03 – 14:23)

A Monmouth University poll published in December found 60% of Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, reported being “worn out” by the pandemic.

The House Ways and Means Committee recently held a hearing entitled “The Burnout Epidemic and What Working Women Need for a Stronger Economy.” One of the women who testified is Victoria Snyder, a single parent from Pittsburgh and a small business owner.

“I think most people, whether they’re parents or not, small business owners or not, we’re all feeling a bit of fatigue,” says Snyder. “I think the burnout rate for many of us is just built to a point where we don’t know what to do anymore.”

Snyder says in testifying to Congress, she was concerned members weren’t hearing the witness “authentically.”

“I think for half of the room, people got bits and pieces of our stories, which those stories might resonate now or later or in a month or two,” says Snyder. “So, I think it’s just waiting to see what that can do.”

Snyder says she hopes the legislators move to create more affordable childhood, paid family leave, and other supports for families.

City Council took on access to abortion, redistricting, bridge maintenance
(14:34 – 22:30)

From bills to protect abortion rights to drawing a new map of the nine council, districts to a major assessment of the city’s bridges, Pittsburgh City Council has had a busy week as they prepare to head into a summer recess.

90.5 WESA City Government Reporter Kiley Koscinski reported three bills are expected to reach a vote next week regarding access to abortion care.

“One bill would shield health care providers who perform abortions as well as patients from out of state prosecution,” says Koscinski. “Another bill would work as a trigger law if a nationwide ban or a statewide ban took effect. If that were to happen, this bill would kick in and instruct local law enforcement to make enforcing abortion related crimes a very low priority or deprioritize it, in other words. And the third prohibits pregnancy centers from falsely advertising.”

Regarding new district maps, Koscinski says residents in Polish Hill and Bon Air were upset by the new boundaries, and ultimately were able to get their neighborhoods drawn into the same districts as before. However, if Wilkinsburg is annexed into the city, district boundaries will have to be redrawn again.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

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