State lawmakers are proposing an expansion of the Earned Income Tax credit to extend a tax break to more low and middle income people.

At a press conference Thursday, State Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, said House Bill 2792 that expands the Earned Income Credit to more groups and removes some qualifications for the credit is a “popular and powerful anti-poverty policy.”

“The Earned Income Credit is a solution that works and we know it works because it also works on the national level. The only problem is that not enough people in Illinois are eligible,” Ammons said.

Under the legislation, which has a duplicate bill in the Senate sponsored by state Sen. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, anyone older than 65 and between the ages of 18 and 24 become eligible by removing requirements about having qualified children under their care. The tax credit will be at least $600 for each taxpayer. Other federal rules about income levels and sources will still apply.

The Earned Income Tax credit is part of the federal tax code that gives tax credits to low and middle income people with an income source and generally takes caring for a dependent into account.

“Families, disproportionately Black and Latinx families are scrambling to balance budgets while navigating caregiver responsibilities,” Ammons said.

Humu Issifu, a caregiver from Chicago, said expanding the tax credit will be a big help for those with strained incomes.

“We need to expand the EIC to make life a little bit easier, not only for me, but every caregiver. With more money, I can by meals for my children who are currently learning remotely from home. I can save money for emergencies and potentially pay off some debt.

The bill has a significant number of Democratic co-sponsors. Dixon Republican Tom Demmer is also a co-sponsor of the legislation.

Ammons planned to present the bill in the House revenue committee Thursday and move it to the House floor.


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March 26, 2021 at 06:12AM