Seth DiStefano: Legislature Should Follow Congressional Lead on EITC

The State Journal - Recently, West Virginia’s Republican Congressional delegation, led by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, helped thousands of West Virginians with its vote for a working families tax credit. This huge step means that improvements made to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Children’s Tax Credit (CTC) years ago are now permanent. Read

The pro-work EITC applies only to those who work for low to moderate wages. It allows those workers to keep more of what they earn and spend it in their local economies to buy basic necessities. It helps West Virginians stay on the job by helping them afford transportation and childcare. And, most importantly, research shows that children whose parents have earned this tax credit tend to do better in school and fare better as adults.

Now leadership in our state Legislature can seize the opportunity to follow the lead of Sen. Capito and her colleagues by enacting a state EITC, just as 26 other states and the District of Columbia have already done.

A state EITC would benefit more than 141,000 working households throughout West Virginia and generate nearly $47 million in local economic activity. Because working families spend their money meeting basic needs, local business owners throughout West Virginia would see a much-needed boost.

Whether helping to pay for a car repair or child care, a West Virginia EITC will help workers earning a low wage stay on the job.

More than 141,000 working households would benefit from a West Virginia EITC, including nearly 163,000 children. For many of these kids, the basic income a West Virginia EITC would provide is the difference between growing up in poverty and a shot at a much better life. Kids who grow up in EITC households are healthier, do better in school and earn more as adults.

By passing legislation to create a West Virginia EITC this legislative session, our lawmakers would boost both working families and the state’s economy. This pro-work policy will generate immediate activity throughout local economies while helping low-wage workers stay on the job. And most importantly, it will improve health, education and professional outcomes for our children, building a West Virginia where young people can stay and raise their own families.


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