News Round-up: May 1, 2017

Here are some highlights from the past week’s news and upcoming events on family tax credit issues.
  • Last week, two state legislatures advanced bills to create new state-level Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). In Montana, lawmakers passed legislation instituting a refundable EITC worth 3 percent of the federal credit (Helena Independent Record, Montana Standard). Legislators on a conference committee in Hawaii agreed to a nonrefundable credit worth 20 percent, and the measure now heads back to both chambers for a final vote. Governors Steve Bullock (D-MT) and David Ige (D-HI) are expected to sign the bills.
  • The South Carolina Senate passed a bill to raise the state’s gas tax and institute a state-level EITC. The bill will now be debated in a conference committee and then will go to Gov. Henry McMaster (R) for his approval (Statehouse Report).
  • As part of a broad tax reform bill, lawmakers in Connecticut voted to reduce the state’s EITC from 27.5 to 25 percent of the federal credit (New Haven Register).
  • President Trump released a brief outline of his plan to reform the tax code, which would primarily benefit higher-income earners and corporations (TCWF, Slate). Trump did say that he would soon announce plans to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for lower-income families (Marketwatch, Fortune).
  • Orvin Kimbrough, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis, urged the Missouri legislature to create a state-level EITC (St Louis Today).
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Congress could pay for President Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border by cracking down on improper payments of tax credits like the EITC to immigrants. Elaine Maag, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center, debunked this claim, arguing that there is very little fraud among immigrants collecting the EITC (Forbes).