State EITC update: Bad news in NC
The first major state-EITC proposal to cross a legislative finish line in 2013 is a huge disappointment, threatening tougher times for working families in North Carolina.
Governor McCrory now has signed into law a measure cutting the value of his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit by 10 percent for one year and allowing it to expire entirely after that. About 900,000 low- and moderate-income households face tax increases as a result.
“We’re hopeful and confident that North Carolina’s strong advocates for working families will continue the push to ensure their EITC help does not ultimately disappear – and we plan to continue helping them in that vital work,” said NCTC Executive Director Jackie Lynn Coleman. She had joined several North Carolina partners in signing letters to the editor in support of the credit as well as writing directly to the Governor in its defense.
This year, NCTC has greatly ramped-up its work to back the state-EITC efforts of advocacy partners in several areas of the country, including:
- Connecticut, submitting testimony (PDF) to a legislative committee to oppose a temporary reduction in its state’s EITC,
- Hawaii, similarly filing committee testimony (PDF) to support creation of a new state EITC, and
- Michigan, using letters to the editor to amplify partners’ call for restoration of the state EITC that was recently slashed by 70 percent.
NCTC policy-and-advocacy staff continue to strategize with their counterparts in still other states where tax-credit opportunities and challenges have arisen, from Utah to Louisiana to Ohio. One thing NCTC’s VITA partners add to such debates is their day-to-day view of how tax credits can keep working families out of poverty and on the path to self-sufficiency.
State-level EITCs are a critical piece of the policy puzzle, helping add to the federal EITC’s help for struggling households in about half the states. These existing tax credits must be protected from harm and strengthened wherever possible. And such credits should be established in new areas, to help working families cover the basics in life that so many of us take for granted.
This was a theme of NCTC’s EITC Awareness Day briefing on Capitol Hill in January, and a guiding principle of our day-to-day work with advocates and partners throughout the nation.
If we can help with your state-level tax-credit work, please contact Gail or Jennifer. For further updates on state EITC action, watch our blog as well as that of our friends at Tax Credits for Working Families