WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Statewide, United Ways is advocating for a tax relief program that will help lower- and middle-class households.
United Way is pushing for an earned income tax credit. Through a recent study, they found that many households still need financial support and that a program that provides more refunds to taxpayers is a win-win situation for everyone.
“We’re initiating this push now because, yes, we believe it’s a good time to come out of COVID and it’s going to help our economy emerge,” said United Way of Pennsylvania President Kristen Rotz.
United Way recently released an economic impact report showing the benefits of adopting a new income tax credit, instead of a flat tax. This program is already in place in 28 states.
“If we provide a little help to our low- and middle-income working families in our state in the form of a refundable state earned income tax credit,” Rotz said.
This would not only benefit these families, but also reduce spending on social services in the state budget. United Way is working with PA lawmakers and the governor’s office in hopes of getting it passed.
“We’re really pushing for this to be resolved in the context of the state budget this year, so in the weeks and months ahead, we believe this can be implemented before the end of June,” Rotz said. .
In Lycoming County, 14% of households are eligible for the earned income tax credit. Ron Frick, president of Lycoming County United Way, said the pandemic continues to be a financial struggle for many.
“It’s been a tough couple of years for sure and so anything we can do to help people get out of this either below the poverty line or even people who are struggling just above the poverty line who need services they didn’t need before COVID,” Frick said.
This is an investment for the state, but United Way says putting this money back in taxpayers’ pockets will encourage them to spend more, improving local economies.