Tax Credits for Working Families

Weekly News Round-Up: September 23, 2011

September 23rd, 2011

Here are some highlights from this week’s news on family tax credit issues. Remember – you can also track news coverage throughout the week by visiting our RSS feed, where you can search by credit and/or state.

  • The American Enterprise Institute examines both the advantages and drawbacks of means-testing benefits for programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Medicaid, in light of the projected growth in Social Security and Medicare spending. (American Enterprise Institute)
  • New state-specific Census figures released yesterday show rising poverty in many cities and states. Advocates recommend fighting poverty by boosting the incomes of low-income working families with Earned Income Tax Credit benefits. Here are a few snapshots from around the country. (Providence Journal, KMOV 4 St. Louis, Bangor Daily News)
  • Given state cuts to local government aid, the elimination of the state homeowner property tax credit and the reduction to the state property tax circuit breaker for renters, most Minnesota cities seem to be grappling with how to raise property taxes without sparking a revolt. But the problem of how to finance cities when state budgets have been slashed is not unique to Minnesota. We’re seeing it play out all over the country. (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • Still in Minnesota, state Rep. Roger Crawford (R-Mora) took to the Pine City Pioneer to defend the recent cuts to the state’s homestead credit, as two Democratic legislators continue their push to restore the credit. (RichfieldPatch, Pine City Pioneer, Echo Press)
  • Michigan’s tax rate will drop from 4.35 percent to 4.25 percent in 2013. But for some working families the money saved will be more than offset by cuts to many long-standing tax deductions, exemptions and credits, including a reduction in the state EITC, the repeal of the $600-per-child deduction, and the elimination of the circuit breaker Homestead Credit for moderate-income families. (Kalamazoo Gazette)
  • A new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy provides a roadmap for state policymakers to fight poverty with refundable tax credits for working families, a proven, cost-effective solution with a history of support from both Republicans and Democrats.  (Progressive Pulse)
  • With more than one in four lower income workers in Illinois unemployed this year, the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty  recommends better child care assistance and changes to the state Earned Income Tax Credit, among other policies that could begin to fix this problem. (Illinois Times)
  • In reaction to last week’s Census data showing rising poverty across the country, Elaine Maag from the Tax Policy Center outlines both the benefits and limitations of tax credits in helping working families make ends meet. (TaxVox)
  • Florida Congressman Allen West has been labeled a rising star within the Republican Party. In this NPR interview, he advocates broadening the tax base by going to a flat, 15 percent income tax and eliminating all deductions except the Child Tax Credit and Mortgage Interest Deduction. (NPR)

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