BOSTON– Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge), Senator Ben Downing (D-Pittsfield), Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton), and Children’s HealthWatch, a non-profit based at Boston Medical Center, today hosted a briefing on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Massachusetts at the State House.
“I am proud to introduce legislation this session that would increase the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit to increase the income of working families, reduce poverty and improve the quality of health in our children,” said Senator Eldridge. “The briefing today highlighted a policy that will have a significant impact on the state’s economy, the wealth of the people of Massachusetts, and inequality in our society.”
“Eliminating poverty and ensuring that parents have the resources needed to buy food, medicine, clothes, and access to learning materials, create a foundation to start addressing the hurdles of moving into healthy, thriving lives,” said Representative Marjorie Decker, the lead Houses sponsor of the bill.
“I have been the lead sponsor of legislation to increase our state EITC for several sessions,” said Senator Creem. “This may finally be the year when legislators come together to increase assistance to hardworking families.”
“Increasing the EITC is a broadly supported, smart way to reward work and help those who work hard and play by the rules avoid poverty. I look forward to working with my colleagues, advocates and the Baker administration to find a way to achieve our broadly shared goals,” said Senator Benjamin Downing.
“People might ask: why is a pediatrician talking about tax policy? Simply put, helping working families keep more of the money they earn can help improve their kids’ health.” Said Dr. Megan Sandel, Pediatrician at BMC and principal Investigator with Children’s HealthWatch
“There is growing evidence that the EITC is an incredibly effective program that rewards work, increases economic mobility, reduces income inequality, and improve children’s health ” Said Dr. John Cook, Principal Investigator with Children’s HealthWatch.
“We applaud the focus of our elected officials on reducing inequality in Massachusetts–a state that has experienced some of the most rapid growth in inequality in the nation. Currently, our state and local tax system contributes to that inequality; each subsequent quintile pays a lower % of income in taxes. Only at a 50% fully refundable EITC, do the 40% of taxpayers with the lowest earnings finally not have the highest tax burden.” Said Justin Pasquariello, Executive Director at Children’s HealthWatch.
SD1110/HD1533 An Act Improving the Earned Income Credit for Working Families, proposes an expansion in the state’s EITC from 15 percent to 50 percent of the value of the federal EITC for all eligible recipients. This bill provides a unique opportunity to reward work, increase economic mobility, reduce inequality, and improve children’s health. Separate pieces of legislation have also been filed by Senator Creem and Senator Downing.