As a former small business owner, I needed two basic things to make my business successful — customers and good employees. The federal Earned Income Tax Program helped my employees and my business. That’s why I know that business owners should support a bill in the West Virginia Legislature that would create a state-based Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). 

The federal EITC has been helping working families for over 30 years and 26 other states have a state-based version.

The EITC puts money back in the pockets of working families, and helps them to afford the basics. It would also strengthen West Virginia’s future workforce, since research shows that children in families who receive the EITC are more likely to do better in school and earn more as adults.

This credit would also be revenue neutral, meaning that the cost of the program to the state government could be funded by existing dollars from the federal government. Federal regulations allow states to finance the refundable part of a credit going to working families with children from a state’s share of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant.

Isn’t it time for the West Virginia Legislature to do something concrete to help working families, especially when it will not worsen the state’s budget crisis?

I urge lawmakers to support HB 4645, which would create a state Earned Income Tax Credit.

 

Naomi Cohen

Lewisburg

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