The start of the new year brings good news for hundreds of thousands of low- and moderate-income working families as the scheduled increase in Michigan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) takes effect.
Despite efforts to freeze the credit at the current level of 10 percent of the federal EITC, or reduce the size of the increase, hard-working families can file their 2009 tax returns knowing that the credit they will receive will double over last year’s amount.
In tax year 2008—the first year the credit was in effect—approximately 702,000 filers received the credit. The average credit for a single mom with two children working full time at the minimum wage was $478.
Imagine the impact this year when the credit increases to 20 percent of the federal credit! Most studies show that EITC refunds are spent in local communities, often for large expenditures—the car or washer repair, the first month’s rent and security deposit for a better apartment in a safer neighborhood, and other purchases that have been put off.
Thanks to all who told policymakers that keeping the state EITC on track was critical to helping families on the margin.
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