The federal government enacted the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in 1975 and today it helps more than 6.5 million Americans, half of whom are children, stay out of poverty. State level EITCs have been enacted in 26 states (including the District of Columbia) across the United States, and a West Virginia EITC would benefit more than a hundred thousand people in the state.

More than one in four children in West Virginia live in poverty, and a state EITC would help 139,000 West Virginians by establishing a more equitable tax system. As it stands, low and middle income West Virginia residents pay 9 percent of their income in state and local taxes. Alternative, the highest earners in the state pay only 6.5 percent of their income in state and local taxes.
The state EITC would provide an average of tax credit of $324 per eligible individual when set at 15 percent of the federal credit. In an economic sense, this tax credit would put $45 million of spending back into the state economy. This credit would help 1 in 5 families in West Virginia afford their basic needs.

West Virginia’s EITC would only be available to working families. For 2015, working families earning up to $39,000 to $52,000 would qualify (depending on marital status and the number of children), but the largest benefits would go to working families with incomes between $10,000 and $23,000.

A West Virginia EITC would help families working in low-wage jobs that are insufficient to live on by providing a much needed income boost. It provides an incentive to work more hours, developing more work experience and introducing new opportunities and higher pay over time.

Our Vote, Our Future needs your help to ensure that a West Virginia Earned Income Tax Credit becomes reality. As citizens, we need to write the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Tax Reform (contact information below) and ask them to include a refundable state EITC as part of any tax changes in 2015 or 2016 not only because it encourages work, but it helps working families make ends meet.

Honorable Mike Hall
Chair Senate Finance Committee
Room 465M, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305

Honorable Eric Nelson
Chair House Finance Committee
Room 462M, Building 1
State Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305

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