By Janet Byrd
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) puts money into the pockets of working people. It’s a great way to pay down debt, make a big one time purchase like new auto tires, or put money aside for an emergency. Surprisingly, as important as the EITC is, one in four Oregonians who qualify for the EITC don’t claim it. That’s a lot of money that isn’t going where we need it – into household budgets and into our local economy.
We want to change that, and we want your help. We are working with partners from all parts of the state to increase the participation rate. We’ve identified three parts of this work, and are forming work groups so that we can make a difference during the next tax season.
The three work groups we’re planning are:
Year Round Communications
This group will work to make sure that taxpayers learn about the EITC and get information they need to help them claim their payment. We’ll look at what people need to know, who the best messengers are, and we’ll develop some shareable materials and tools.
Removing Barriers for EITC Claims
There are amazing organizations and volunteers in all parts of the state who are working to give taxpayers the support they need to claim the EITC. We’ll look at how those organizations and volunteers can grow to serve even more people.
This group will ask the question “Is there a better way to do this?” Is there a different approach that Oregon should be considering to help people claim the money they are entitled to?
The Oregon EITC also needs to be renewed by the 2019 Legislature. There’s a coalition working to make sure that happens, led by Oregon Center for Public Policy and Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon.
Want to get involved? Let us know, and we’ll make sure you get connected. Use this form to let us know what you’d like to help us do.