One Step Forward, One Step Back for State EITCs

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North Carolina took a large step forward towards tax fairness this week when both houses passed a new budget that includes a state Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC.North Carolina now joins 20 other states that offer an EITC.These credits receive broad bipartisan support in so many states because of their proven track record of success.The EITC works by rewarding work, making sure that working low-income families aren't taxed further into poverty.Since the measure is targeted only at these families, it provides much more benefit per dollar of state revenue than almost any other anti-poverty program.

Despite all this, however, some legislators in Michigan want to delay the introduction of that state's EITC.Last year, the state passed an EITC for the first time.Now, proponents of delaying the EITC argue that, given the state's current business and fiscal problems, the government simply can't afford the tax break.Of course, many of these senators are the same ones who have been advocating against any new business taxes in the state to replace revenue lost with the repeal of the Single Business Tax.It's true that the state is not in good fiscal condition, but during economic downturns anti-poverty measures become more important, not less.Michigan voters should urge their lawmakers to keep their promise to the working poor.For more information on state EITCs, try this helpful website.For more information on how EITCs work, read this ITEP policy brief.

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