By Kate Skochdopole

What tactics are particularly effective for protecting or advancing state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs)? Each year, Tax Credits for Workers and Their Families (TCWF) compiles a set of case studies on state-level EITC campaigns to share key takeaways with advocates across the country. We also include a resource guide that summarizes our findings over the years.

This year, we highlighted two hard-fought campaigns in Montana and Oklahoma that incorporated unique strategies for protecting and advancing the EITC.

In Montana, advocates who had spent years working to enact a state-level EITC drew closer than ever to their goal, partly by broadening their coalition of supporters to include a diverse set of partners, including many who were not typical tax credit advocates.

In Oklahoma, advocates were given an extremely narrow timeline to protect the refundable portion of their state’s EITC from elimination. In response, they leveraged social media to rapidly convene a virtual coalition of partners and amplify voices from across the state. Although the legislature ultimately moved forward with the elimination, the campaign garnered national attention and The New York Times called the decision to make Oklahoma’s EITC non-refundable “deplorable.”

These case studies and those from years past illustrate that while these campaigns share common elements with many other advocacy efforts, they also highlight strategies unique to tax credit advocacy that can be replicated across the country.  We hope that each story offers advocates in other states a wealth of guidance as they implement their own EITC campaigns.