In-work income tax credit bill to help low-income working families

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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill introduced in the Utah state legislature promises to put more money in the pockets of low-income families.

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House Bill 307 would make an earned income tax credit available at the state level. Currently, 30 states have enacted state matches with the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit that has existed since the administration of President Gerald Ford.

“It’s about one in six families in Utah who claim the earned income tax credit each year,” said Matthew Weinstein, director of tax policy for Voices for Utah Children.

Weinstein says they analyzed every tax proposal on Capitol Hill. They found that the working income tax credit would help low-income Utahns the most.

“That will mean hundreds of extra dollars coming their way when they file their taxes in Utah and that’s a great place to start,” Weinstein said.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Representative Mike Winder of West Valley City. Winder says the amount a family could get from the earned income tax credit depends on the number of dependents and a sliding scale on income.

“For a family of four making $35,000 a year, we’re talking a few hundred dollars, a few hundred dollars, so that means a lot if you’re trying to figure out how to pay for school, shoes, or if you have a repair automobile that pops up,” Winder said.

Winder says the bill is a way to help working families when they need it most.

“They’ve been hit harder than anyone with the high inflation we’ve seen, we as a state also need to get people back to work, there’s a lot of signs of help being sought, so that makes those two things,” Rep. Winder said.

With the The Senate voted last week on a $160 million tax cutleaders on both sides of the aisle have expressed their willingness to review the earned income tax credit bill.

“We have always supported earned income tax credits and we are certainly looking forward to seeing this version,” said Senator Luz Escamilla, Senate Minority Whip.

“I think the working income tax credit is pretty well received here,” added Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers.

Democrats still favor repealing the state portion of the food sales tax. However, Republican leaders have signaled that they are still unwilling to consider it.


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