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Senate approves income tax credit for stay-at-home parent families

A bill giving an income-tax credit to families with a stay-at-home parent has passed the Senate and is on its way to the House.

The Senate voted 25-2 Thursday to approve the third version of Sen.Robert Muhlestein's SB210, which provides a tax credit of $500 per child under age 6 for families making less than $20,000 a year. The bill's graduated schedule provides a smaller credit for families with higher incomes, but even households making $40,000 or more would get a $50 credit per child.The measure is aimed at enabling lower-income families to keep one parent at home with young children. Muhlestein, R-Mepleton, believes the tax credit will pay off down the road in the form of well-adjusted teens and adults who will have little or no negative impact on society.

Muhlestein got the bill out of the Senate, in part, by delaying its implementation for a year and by rewriting it to build the estimated $17 million in lost tax money into the revenue projections the governor and legislative fiscal analyst prepare before the next session begins.