Child tax credit concept. Wooden figures of family and calculator.
Credit: Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock

The state of Connecticut mailed out about $78 million in child tax rebates to around 190,000 families this week, Gov. Ned Lamont and his revenue services commissioner announced at a press conference Thursday. 

Lamont, who will face a rematch with Republican Bob Stefanowski as he runs for re-election in November, hailed the one-time tax rebate during a televised press conference from the state Capitol building. 

“This child tax rebate, we didn’t want to wait for something that was in your tax return, you had to wait till next April,” Lamont said. “This is money you’re going to get today, tomorrow, the next day, depending on how fast the mail works. I think it makes a difference for families, makes life a little more affordable.”

The state budget adjustment package passed by the legislature and signed by Lamont earlier this year set aside $125 million for the rebate program, which offered eligible families $250 per child for up to three children. 

Around 300,000 families were expected to meet the income requirements, which applied to single filers who made $100,000 or less in 2021 or joint filers who made $200,000 or less. After a two-month application window, more than 200,000 families applied.

According to the state, the Department of Revenue Services is reviewing another 32,800 applications in addition to the roughly 189,400 that have already been approved.

Revenue Services Commissioner Mark Boughton told reporters the outstanding applications may have had missing information or have been duplicates. 

“I think when it’s all done we’ll end up at around 200 to 210,000 actual checks going out in the mail,” Boughton said. “That will impact well over 300,000 children in our state and, again, provide them with the resources they need to get started with their school year.”

The child tax rebate was a part of roughly $600 million in one-time and permanent tax reductions included in the budget. On Thursday, Boughton, a former Republican mayor of Danbury and former gubernatorial candidate, called the tax cuts “something to be very proud of.”

However, legislative Republicans and Stefanowski have criticized Lamont and the legislature’s majority Democrats for not making more substantial tax cuts as the state enjoys ongoing budget surpluses, which have led to more than $4 billion being used to pay down the state’s outstanding pension debt. 

In a press release last week, Senate Republican leaders Kevin Kelly and Paul Formica welcomed a sales tax holiday on most clothing — which runs through this weekend — but said the policies were “not nearly enough” for Connecticut families. 

“As inflation continues to surge, Connecticut residents are still being overtaxed. But instead of returning those surging revenues – your hard earned money – back to you, CT Democrats chose to keep it,” Kelly and Formica said. “CT Democrats have voted against an income tax reduction for you, a sales tax cut every week, suspending the meals tax and diesel tax, and repealing the truck tax that will only increase prices of goods and groceries even further.”