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Concilio and NCLR advocate tax credit for working families in PA

Concilio and NCLR advocate tax credit for working families in PA

The organizations hosted a community meeting that discussed the importance of anti-poverty tax credits for Philadelphia’s low- and moderate-income Latino…

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In an effort to protect tax credits that help working families build financial stability, Concilio (Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations of Philadelphia) joined the National Council of La Raza and hosted a community meeting that discussed the importance of anti-poverty tax credits for Philadelphia’s low- and moderate-income Latino families.

The organizations specifically addressed the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which helps ease the cost of raising children, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which gives low- and moderate-income earners a tax credit that grows as their incomes do.

Attendees signed a letter directed to Members of Congress that urges lawmakers to save key provisions of both tax credits that are set to expire in 2017.

“Unless Congress acts, it would leave over 440,000 Pennsylvanians without a crucial piece of their family budget and push nearly 180,000 Pennsylvania kids into poverty,” the letter reads.

Varsovia Fernandez, CEO and president of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC); Will Gonzalez, executive director of Ceiba and Erika Almiron; executive director of JUNTOS, and Rafael Collazo, director of Political Campaigns at the National Council of La Raza were among the speakers.

For Gonzalez, filing a tax return is more than a yearly routine for working families. “It is a way to access important tax credits that help workers meet their expenses, repair their credit or build their savings. We need to change the way that we look at the EITC and CTC. They are gateways to asset-building for low-income people and that helps everyone in our community,” he said.

“The main message is, if you don’t protect what you have you are going to lose it. EITC is a great opportunity for low-income people. We need to protect it and help people see, in Congress and the community, that it is not a liability but an opportunity to turn that money they receive into opportunities for growth for the families,” Gonzalez added.

According to NCLR, if Congress lets key provisions of these tax credits expire at the end of 2017:

-More than 5 million Latino working families with 9 million children stand to lose an average of more than $1,000 each.

-More than 50 million Americans, including 25 million children, will lose part or all of their EITC or CTC.

For Pennsylvania, where 40 percent of Latinos earn poverty-level wages, both taxes represent effective policies to fight poverty.

NCLR reported that in 2013 more than 1.5 million households received the EITC or CTC. Of the 5.8 million households in Pennsylvania receiving tax returns, 928,975 household received the EITC and 585,320 received CTC.

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