Governor Baker Highlights Proposal to Double EITC in Boston
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today visited and toured one of Action for Boston Community Development’s (ABCD) 12 IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in the Greater Boston area to discuss with organizers, tax prep volunteers and individuals the benefits of doubling the earned income tax credit (EITC) would have on the budgets of low-income working families. Along with his Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal, Governor Baker filed House Bill 62 expanding the EITC from 15% to 30% of the federal level over two years, directly impacting over 400,000 Massachusetts residents. The proposal would increase the EITC to $1,874 for eligible working families and increase disposable income by $196 million.
“Providing relief to Massachusetts’ working families through the earned income tax credit has proven to be one of the most historically effective programs for supporting low-income workers and spurring economic growth,” said Governor Baker. “Increasing reinvestment in our workers would directly benefit more than 400,000 individuals and their families across the Commonwealth who need an extra hand to make ends meet and support their families."
Governor Baker toured ABCD’s facility on the Boston Common where accountants and accounting students volunteer their time to provide free tax preparation services for low to moderate-income working families. Governor Baker met with ABCD leadership, a site volunteer and several individuals and families who would directly benefit from the EITC expansion.
“ABCD applauds Governor Baker’s action in filing legislation to double the Earned Income Tax Credit for poor working individuals and families in Massachusetts,” said John J. Drew, ABCD President/CEO. “Many of those who benefit from EITC work two or three jobs, but can’t get above the poverty level of $24,250 in annual earnings for a family of four. EITC makes a difference for hard-working residents who struggle to pay for rent, heat and food and helps narrow the ongoing, painful gap between rich and poor.”
About Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD):
ABCD has provided tax preparation services to low and moderate-income working individuals and families for more than 25 years. It is part of the Boston Tax Help Coalition and national Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Massachusetts. Last year ABCD’s EITC program served almost 5,000 families at sites in all of Boston neighborhoods, bringing more than $7.8 million into inner-city, low-income households. Along with tax preparation, ABCD also provides EITC customers with comprehensive financial counseling and financial literacy programs for youth and families.