Group wants to expand Earned Income Tax Credit in Ohio

Some in Ohio are working to get the Earned Income Tax Credit to more people as a means to both fight poverty and boost the economy.

Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning think tank, presented a proposal to the Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee last week to create a state-level EITC, as 24 other states have done.

“An EITC not only helps create a more fair tax structure, it provides a boost to local economies, as EITC dollars are often spent and saved locally,” said David Rothstein, project director at Policy Matters. “This multiplier effect creates local and state tax revenue based on goods and services that are sold.”

Rothstein said a state EITC set at 20 percent of the federal credit would provide 800,000 working families with an average of $446 annually.

“It’s easy to implement, as simple as adding a line on the tax form.”

“We’re not sure that’s a good idea,” said Greg Lawson, policy analyst with the conservative Buckeye Institute. “This is just going to create another incentive for raising taxes.

“I would make an argument that what’s really going to give people a chance to climb that ladder out of poverty isn’t subsidies from government but essentially is policies that are going to get people jobs.”

Meanwhile, groups such as Ohio United Way are using advertising and volunteer tax preparers to help more people apply for the federal EITC.

“United Ways have found that it has become the largest antipoverty program we now have, because of the amount of money received and the fact you receive actual money,” said Barbara Sykes, executive director of Ohio United Way.

The IRS estimates the credit lifted 6.6 million people out of poverty in 2012, half of them children. But despite the growth of the program — it has doubled in cost since the 1990s — the IRS estimates one-fifth of the people eligible for the program don’t claim it.

The IRS says eligible people not claiming the program include those living in rural areas, the self employed, those not proficient in English, or people raising their grandchildren.

But, Sykes said, there is ample concern that Congress in the current discussions of comprehensive tax reform could eye the EITC for cuts. That would impact local economies as well as low-income workers.

“These individuals when they receive it they’re not holding it, they’re not putting it into a savings account,” she said. “They’re spending it because they need it.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

New 'Justice League' trailer, movie poster revealed at Comic-Con
New 'Justice League' trailer, movie poster revealed at Comic-Con

Superhero fans, rejoice: A new "Justice League" trailer and movie poster have been revealed at Comic-Con in San Diego. Time reported that the trailer released Saturday "hints at the appearance of a mysterious hero," possibly Superman or a Green Lantern.  The poster, which features Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)...
WATCH: Gal Gadot cheers up teary-eyed girl dressed as Wonder Woman at Comic-Con
WATCH: Gal Gadot cheers up teary-eyed girl dressed as Wonder Woman at Comic-Con

A young Wonder Woman fan has something to smile about after sharing a heartwarming moment with actress Gal Gadot at Comic-Con in San Diego. According to "Entertainment Tonight," a girl dressed as the superhero seemed to have tears in her eyes when she met Gadot during a "Justice League" autograph signing Saturday. Gadot immediately...
Student of the Week Shawnee High School
Student of the Week Shawnee High School

Name: Tyra Huxley School: Shawnee High School Grade: 12 Age: 17 Extra-curricular: National Honor Society, Volleyball, Prom and Homecoming Committees, Student Council, Track, Summer Internship Program - currently an intern at Yamada N.A. Claim to fame/honors: Becoming President of Shawnee’s National Honor Society Words you live by: “If you&rsquo...
TODAY’S MODERATOR: A new kind of 911

The abuse of 911 services has been much-covered, especially so-called “frequent flyers” who more or less use the calls as their primary health care. In many cities, costs are out of hand. According to The Atlantic, Memphis is trying a new approach. “Since April, the city has been engaged in an experiment to take some pressure off...
Athlete of the Week Shawnee High School
Athlete of the Week Shawnee High School

Name: Grant Engle School: Shawnee High School Grade: 12 Age: 17 Sports: Boys Golf Claim to fame/honors: 8th in the State Tournament, 3-time CBC Player of the Year Words you live by: “All of your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.” Toughest opponent: My brother, Clark Engle Biggest influence: My mom and dad What&rsquo...
More Stories