A recent Fresno Bee editorial supported a proposed state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) modeled on the federal EITC. EITC promotes work by rewarding working families. The federal EITC, initiated during the Gerald Ford administration, lifts more families out of poverty than any other federal program. Without the federal EITC, the number of children in poverty would be 25% higher. Others, while not lifted out of poverty, are at least made less poor.
Twenty-six states have their own version of EITC and are successfully moving even more families out of poverty. A similar California program can impact the Valley’s low-wage working families and the local economy. It is estimated that every $100,000 of EITC brought into a community creates or preserves one job.
Each year Central California Legal Services assists thousands of hardworking families claim the federal EITC and generates millions of dollars for the local economy. This year alone more than 1,200 applicants claimed over $2.7 million in EITC. Nearly 50% of them earned less than $15,000 in 2014. A state EITC would help some of our lowest income individuals and families move out of poverty and strengthen our local economies.
Chris A. Schneider, Fresno