State EITC Campaigns Off to a Promising Start
March 20, 2015Print
By Kate Skochdopole
As the debate around income inequality heats up at the federal level, state legislative sessions are in full swing – and packed full of proposals aimed at tackling the wealth gap. We’ve got our eye on a number of states looking to expand their existing Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) or enact new ones to help working families keep more of the money they’ve earned:
- Montana may soon become the 27th state to offer its own EITC. State Rep. Tom Jacobson (D) has introduced a bill that would create a state EITC worth 10 percent of the federal credit. The legislation is pending a vote from the House Taxation Committee.
- Nebraska State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D) proposed expanding the state’s EITC from 10 percent to 15 percent of the federal credit.
- Illinois legislators in both houses sponsored legislation to double the state EITC from 10 to 20 percent of the federal level over five years. Committees are now reviewing both of the measures, which have over 60 co-sponsors.
- In February, Massachusetts State Senators Jamie Eldridge (D) and Ben Downing (D) and Representatives Marjorie Decker (D) and Cynthia Creem (D) introduced legislation that would increase the value of the state’s EITC from 15 to 50 percent of the federal EITC. Also, Gov. Charlie Baker’s 2015 budget proposal included a plan to double the state’s EITC from 15 to 30 percent of the federal credit.
- Advocates in North Carolina are calling for the reinstatement of the EITC after it was slashed from the budget in 2013. This session, State Senators Don Davis (D) and Jeff Jackson (D) sponsored a bill restoring the state EITC. The bill is pending committee approval.
- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant included in his budget proposal the creation of an EITC valued at 15 percent of the federal credit. However the future of the state’s tax code remains unclear as the state House of Representatives passed a tax bill that would phase out the state’s personal income tax, therefore eliminating the possibility of a state EITC.
Stay tuned to TCWF for more legislative updates and follow us on Twitter for breaking news coming out of these states.