By Kate Skochdopole

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law a bill that will raise awareness of refundable tax credits and make sure more eligible families collect the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

To increase uptake of the credit, the new legislation requires every Oregon W-2 form to include a notice explaining the EITC and alerting taxpayers that they might be eligible.

In Oregon, where last year 88,000 eligible families for the credit failed to claim it on their tax returns, advocates have for years urged the legislature to pass legislation that would ensure more families collect the money they’ve earned. Oregon has the third worst EITC take-up rate in the nation – ahead of only Washington D.C. and Colorado. In 2016, only 77 percent of eligible Oregon taxpayers claimed the credit, leaving $130 million on the table.

Oregon joins a growing number of states that have approved legislation to improve or create state tax credits in 2017. Lawmakers in Montana and South Carolina created their own state EITCs, and a bill to create a state credit in Hawaii is awaiting the governor’s signature.

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