February 9, 2011

MCC: EITC is a 'Fertilizer' for Economic Gardening Efforts

LANSING (MCC) – Michigan Catholic Conference released the following statement yesterday opposing Senate Bill 103, legislation that would eliminate the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The comments below may be attributed to Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul A. Long:

“While not unexpected, it is terribly unfortunate and alarming that the first target of this year’s budget deficit may be low-income working families living paycheck to paycheck. The legislative majority has stated since it took control this legislative session there would not be a tax increase to resolve the budget deficit – yet the first piece of legislation designed to address that shortfall represents nothing but a tax increase on the working poor. Michigan’s low income workers should not bear the burden of setting straight the state’s fiscal house.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit does more to lift low-income workers out of poverty than any other policy. It has enjoyed substantial bipartisan support at both the state and federal levels for several decades and can claim as its biggest proponent President Ronald Reagan. Well-documented and irrefutable research has confirmed the tax credit’s success in lifting children out of poverty (see here, pg. 7). Considering the Michigan Dashboard believes decreasing the number of children living in poverty will contribute to the state’s economic strength, Senate Bill 103 directly contradicts this objective by seeking to eliminate the state Earned Income Tax Credit.

“The state EITC is a pro-family, pro-work policy that reduces poverty, increases workforce participation among low-income families, and makes the state tax system fairer by offsetting disproportionate payroll taxes. It also contributes substantially to local economies and small businesses alike, thereby acting as a ‘fertilizer’ for economic gardening efforts. In order to continue moving low-income workers out of poverty, to encourage work and to address the high number of poor children living in this state, Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to preserve and protect the state Earned Income Tax Credit.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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