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Wisconsin child tax credit applications open

Marylee Williams

Wisconsin Public Radio

Tuesday Wisconsin residents with children under the age of 18 can apply for a one-time, $100 tax credit. The credit comes at a cost of about $130 million, and at a time when Gov. Scott Walker is gearing up for his re-election bid.

Parents and guardians will have from May 15 to July 2 to apply for the rebate. Caregivers are eligible for the $100 tax credit for every child they have living in their home under the age of 18 as of December 31, 2017. They can apply online or over the phone through the state Department of Revenue.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler said he thinks there’s going to be a lot of interest. It should take less than three weeks for applicants to get their credit once they’ve applied, and the DOR will have staff available to help process the requests.

Chandler said this is part of the Walker administration’s continued efforts to provide tax relief for those who need it.

"It will really help middle class families, especially working families with children," he said. "And that’s where we think there’s a tremendous need for tax relief, and this takes care of that."

Along with the child tax credit, Walker used his veto power to expand the late-summer sales tax holiday from two days to five days.

Democrats have criticized Walker's move, saying it was politically motivated.

Assembly Minority Leader Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said there are better ways to spend this money.

"And of course with $130 million we could have fixed lead pipes," he said. "We could have tested all the rape kits that are sitting around. We could have expanded rural broadband, or we could have kept our budget intact given that we face a pretty significant structural deficit heading into the next year."

Hintz said this shows Walker is trying to gain favor with voters heading into the election in November.

Walker announced the credit in his State of the State address in January. He also used his veto pen to allow grandparents and other primary caregivers to receive the credit.

Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2018, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. Find more WPR news on KUWS-FM 91.3 or wpr.org.

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