News Round Up: July 23, 2018

Here are some highlights from the past week’s news on family tax credit issues:

Top Story: The Massachusetts legislature approved a state budget for fiscal year 2019 that includes an expansion of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 23 to 30 percent of the federal credit. The budget now heads to Governor Charlie Baker (R) for signature. (WAMC, ITEP)

  • During a special session, the Utah legislature considered a bill to enact a state-level EITC, but instead passed legislation to enact a nonrefundable state-level Child Tax Credit (CTC) worth $34 per child. The new CTC is intended to reduce the financial burden on low-income working families hit by the recent changes to the federal tax code, but because the credit is nonrefundable, it provides little to no benefit for those with the lowest incomes. (Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune)
  • District of Columbia Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced new legislation, the Rainy Day Refund Act, which would allow residents to direct up to 30 percent of their D.C. EITC to a savings account. After six months, the city would match each participant’s EITC savings by 50 percent. (Tax Policy Center)
  • Legislation to encourage EITC recipients to save has also been introduced at the federal level. We blogged about a proposal from a bipartisan group of U.S. senators that would help taxpayers direct a portion of their EITC and other tax refunds into savings for later in the year. (TCWF)
  • The Center for Working Families Inc. looked at EITC spending habits in Georgia by surveying taxpayers who are eligible for the credit. More than 80 percent of respondents indicated the credit is important to help with necessities, like paying household bills and buying food. Nearly half noted the EITC is critical for making key investments for the future, such as buying a car and getting an apartment. Read their full responses here.
  • Check out TCWF’s new infographic on how the EITC can help keep people out of prison.