FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications
Broad coalition calls for increase in Michigan’s Earned Income Tax Credit
Gov. Whitmer’s proposal to double EITC would benefit communities across Michigan
LANSING – A broad coalition of organizations today held a press conference in Lansing to express their support for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to increase the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). A diverse group of faith organizations, worker advocacy organizations, anti-poverty organizations, policy think tanks and more called on lawmakers to support Gov. Whitmer’s proposal that would double the Michigan EITC from 6% to 12%.
“Too many Michiganders are living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet, including those who are working full time,” said Gilda Jacobs, president & CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “Expanding Michigan’s EITC would go a long way to helping workers with low incomes in our state while supporting small businesses and boosting local economies. The EITC has had strong bipartisan support in the past, and it should have strong bipartisan support in the present.”
The Federal EITC provides relief for low-to-moderately-low-income working individuals in the form of a credit on their tax returns. In 2006, lawmakers in Michigan passed a law that provided those who qualify 20% of their federal EITC on their state income taxes. That amount was reduced to 6% through legislation passed in 2010 under Gov. Rick Snyder. Gov. Whitmer has proposed doubling Michigan’s EITC to 12% in her budget.
“Through our work at United Way, we see firsthand the meaningful impact that Michigan’s EITC has on working households. The money it puts back in the pockets of low-income earners moves hundreds of thousands of families closer to financial stability and helps ensure that an unexpected expense can be absorbed without throwing them into a financial crisis,” said Kyle DuBuc, director of policy, advocacy & government relations for United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
A common misconception is the EITC only impacts urban communities. A recent Michigan State University study found Gov. Whitmer’s proposal to increase the Michigan EITC to 12% would increase the average rural filer’s application who qualifies by more than $130. In addition, the study found an increase to the EITC would have a significant positive impact to rural communities due to increased local spending and economic activity. According to the study, the increase would spur $92.5 million in economic impact.
“The recent Michigan State University study on the rural impact of the EITC proved what we already knew: The Michigan EITC has significant impacts on rural communities across Michigan,” said Tom Hickson, vice president of public policy and advocacy for Michigan Catholic Conference. “In both rural and urban communities, the EITC appeals to the dignity of work. For low income working families, this important policy change can make a big difference in a much-needed car repair or an extra trip to the grocery store. This is why we support expanding the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit.”
“The Michigan EITC impacts working families across the state, and Gov. Whitmer’s proposal to double it will help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” said Ross H. Yednock, program director of the Michigan Economic Impact Coalition at the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.
“Social Work is a profession dedicated to ensuring all Michiganders have easier access to services, creating the potential for better health outcomes. Equal economic opportunity is a step in the right direction,” said Maxine Thome, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers Michigan. “Increasing the EITC to 12 percent will help hard-working Michiganders provide for their families and ensure economic growth is felt by everyone. I’m proud to stand by these organizations to urge support for this important initiative.”
“Gov. Whitmer is taking a stand for working Michigan families by boosting the Michigan EITC in her budget, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should support this important proposal that will help Michigan working families,” said Kate White, executive director of Michigan Community Action.
A full list of the organizations supporting the EITC today included:
- Capital Area United Way
- Community Economic Development Association of Michigan
- Council of Michigan Foundations
- Michigan Association of United Ways
- Michigan Catholic Conference
- Michigan Community Action
- Michigan League for Public Policy
- Michigan Nonprofit Association
- National Association of Social Workers Michigan
- United Way for Southeastern Michigan