As Tax Day approaches, state delegates are calling for legislation to create a tax credit for West Virginia families who earn low wages. Once enacted, West Virginia’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would be the 27th in the nation, allowing families to keep more of what they earn and pay for important necessities. Read PDF of news release.
“Over 2,900 families in my district get up every day and work jobs that pay low wages. They are struggling to make ends meet until a better employment opportunity comes along,” stated Delegate Matthew Rohrbach (R-Cabell). “A state Earned Income Tax Credit sends a clear message of dollars and common sense that we support their work and desire to move up the economic ladder.”
Delegate Rohrbach was lead sponsor on a bill that would have created West Virginia’s own Earned Income Tax Credit. While the bill did not pass during the 2016 Legislative Session, a growing coalition of organizations is lending its support to the policy.
“The diversity of this coalition speaks volumes,” commented Seth DiStefano, state EITC coordinator with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. “Business, faith, labor, and community action leaders, along with legislators from both sides of the aisle agree that West Virginia’s hard-working families who earn low wages need to keep more of their money at tax time through a state Earned Income Tax Credit.”
“This is as kitchen table as it gets in my district,” said Delegate Nancy Guthrie (D-Kanawha). “$325 may not seem like a lot but for West Virginians working low-pa-ing jobs, that money will be spent for something important. In District 36, over -4,200 will benefit while spending that money in our local economy. A state EITC provides immediate results now as well as critical investment in West Virginia’s next generation.”
A West Virginia EITC would benefit over 141,000 working families. The tax credit can only be claimed by people who work. Over 160,000 West Virginia children would be helped.
The amount of the tax credit varies based on family income and size. A single mother with two children who works a full-time minimum-wage job could keep over $800 more of her earnings because of a state EITC. A family of four making $36,000 per year could keep over $400 more.
For district-by-district information on the local economic boost from a WV Earned Income Tax Credit, visit www.investinwvfamilies.org.
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