Ohioans – many of whom work multiple jobs while taking care of their children – deserve tax relief. And workers who lose their jobs or their pensions due to no fault of their own deserve help with health bills.
While this makes sense to most Ohioans, too many Members of Congress may disagree. While some legislators don’t hesitate to give tax breaks to large corporations, they stop short of also providing workers with fair tax credits that will keep them out of poverty.
As Congress works to finalize a tax deal, if businesses receive tax relief, the same has to go for Ohio workers and their families. Tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) – which provide tax relief for low-income workers – are critical lifelines for many taxpayers and lift millions out of poverty every year.
Just as corporations need certainty so they can make investments, working Americans deserve certainty so they can make ends meet.
Temporary improvements to the EITC and CTC will expire in just a few years if Congress does not act. According to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, if these provisions are allowed to expire in 2017, 13 million families would lose part or all of their EITC and CTC. This would result in 14.6 million Americans being pushed deeper into poverty and 1.8 million Americans being pushed into poverty. In Ohio alone, allowing the improvements to expire would reduce the EITC and CTC of nearly half a million families.
We should not only make permanent the enhancements made to the EITC and the CTC, we should look at ways to expand and improve both credits.
That’s why I introduced legislation that would triple the size of the EITC for the only class of workers who can be taxed into poverty: low-income adults without children. This would reduce poverty and spread the benefits of the program to a wider pool. Ohioans want to work and support themselves and we must continue to fight for tax policy that does not put an undue burden on low-wage earners.
In 2012, more than 1.5 million Ohioans received more than $3.2 billion in tax relief through the EITC and the CTC. That’s money that gets fed right back into the economy. Families use their refunds to pay for necessities – like groceries, school supplies, and visits to the dentist – that they otherwise might not be able to afford.
We cannot afford to neglect working families when it comes to tax relief. Congress must ensure that, like corporations, workers who need help the most can rely on fair tax credits for years to come.