Statement by Terry Brooks, Executive Director, Kentucky Youth Advocates on Governor Beshear’s Announcement of EITC Awareness Month

After a whirlwind first week of the 2011 legislative session, the next few weeks serve as a good time for reflection on how good policy like the Earned Income Tax Credit can make a lasting impact on the well-being of families and children. Governor Beshear’s declaration of EITC awareness is an excellent reminder that establishing a state-level EITC is a real opportunity to help Kentucky families. A state EITC would boost the pro-family climate created with the federal EITC.

Although the federal EITC has lifted more children out of poverty in the U.S. than any other program, many working families continue to struggle. The number of Kentucky families applying for the federal EITC increased from over 296,000 in 2000 to over 375,000 in 2007. Lawmakers in 23 states and the District of Columbia have instituted a state-level EITC, many of which are refundable, which means that if the size of the family’s credit exceeds the amount of state income tax owed, the family receives the difference in the form of a refund check, to help working families combat poverty and increase living standards.

Adding a refundable state-level EITC could easily become a part of any plan for comprehensive tax reform and could provide increased stability to thousands of low-income working families by helping them meet their immediate needs and giving them opportunity to build long-term financial security.

Download a pdf of this news release Call for EITC Awareness Excellent Reminder of What Kentucky Can do to Help Working Families.