Linda Frame: Tax Credit Makes Difference for Working Moms, Kids
Working West Virginia moms are never off the clock. From packing lunches in the morning to tucking kids in at night, moms put in a lot more than a full day’s work. And every dollar they work for is hard earned. That’s why we are celebrating moms on Sunday. Read
But this Mother’s Day, it’s also important to watch what’s happening in Washington: Congress can help moms right here in West Virginia by making permanent key improvements to tax credits that put money back into the pockets of moms who’ve earned it.
For more than 21 million working moms across the country, including 98,000 in West Virginia, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are important tools to help them make ends meet for their families. By offsetting payroll and income taxes, these credits support work, increase wages and reduce poverty.
Boosting income means that moms are better able to pay for the very things that allow them to work and improve their family’s situation, such as child care and transportation. Combined, the EITC and CTC lifted 38,000 West Virginians out of poverty in 2012 and added about $312 million to the state’s economy.
That’s an incredible success story on its own, but evidence also shows that the EITC and CTC have long-term benefits for moms and their kids.
Children who benefit from the tax credits perform better in school and mothers and their children who benefit are healthier than families that do not. Larger tax refunds, like those provided by these important credits, also boost college enrollment by making college more affordable for low- and moderate-income households.
And some of the best news is that the boost in work effort and earnings extends into the next generation, with more work and higher earnings for children raised by moms who benefit from added income the tax credits provide.
It’s no surprise that the credits have enjoyed strong, bipartisan support in Washington over the years.
Legislators in West Virginia can do even more by enacting a state version of the EITC to give moms additional help beyond the federal program. With one in three young West Virginia children living in poverty, West Virginia needs to join the 26 other states already giving families relief from an upside-down tax system so they have more money for day care, food and education for their children.
It’s time to help working moms right here in West Virginia this Mother’s Day. Call our elected officials in Congress and ask them to support moms and kids by making these key provisions of the EITC and CTC permanent. And contact West Virginia legislators, currently looking at ways to overhaul the state’s tax system, to ask them to establish a state program to give low-income working families and our economy more support.