April 27, 2011

Statement on Preservation of Michigan EITC, More than $100 Million in Tax Credits for the Poor

LANSING (MCC) – Michigan Catholic Conference released the following statement today following the adoption of a general revision to the income tax code by the House Tax Policy Committee, which will allocate some $105 million to the poor in Michigan through a $25 per child refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and an increased Homestead Property Tax Credit for those earning less than $20,000 per year. The comments below may be attributed to Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy Tom Hickson:

“While preserving the EITC in its entirety was a tough task due to Michigan’s tremendous fiscal difficulties, the fact that this committee has allocated over $100 million to the poor by preserving a portion of the EITC and increasing the Homestead credit is a step in the right direction.

"Michigan Catholic Conference applauds the Democrats and Republicans, especially State Representative Jud Gilbert, chairman of the House Tax Policy Committee, who worked diligently to prevent the state EITC from being eliminated. While it is unfortunate that amendments to restore funding for EITC were unsuccessful, the Conference now urges the full House of Representatives to follow the committee’s lead to protect a portion of the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit.

“From the start of this legislative session, and for several years beforehand, Michigan Catholic Conference sought to make the case that the state EITC does more to move low-income families and their children out of poverty than any other policy. The Conference is grateful to those who accepted our message. Over the last five years Michigan Catholic Conference has engaged elected officials, conducted news conferences, participated in editorial board meetings, appeared on radio interviews, released statements, and composed op/ed pieces for major daily newspapers urging legislators and the public to stand for the working poor and their families by protecting the EITC.

“While this legislation preserves only a small portion of the original twenty percent state credit, the Conference will continue to advocate on behalf of low-income workers now and in the future to ensure as many families as possible continue to rise above the poverty line. Ensuring over $100 million in tax benefits for the poor is a good start.”

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

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