Local News

Backers Push for State Earned Income Tax Credit

Posted January 31, 2007 8:50 p.m. EST

— Financial help for low-income families is a big issue at the General Assembly, and an earned income tax credit and Medicaid will both be up for debate this legislative session.

Advocates for low-income working families are trying to build momentum to pass a state version of the earned income tax credit in the federal tax system.

Wednesday, they crammed into the press conference room at the General Assembly to make their case. They say the credit is the next logical step after last year's increase in the minimum wage to $6.15 an hour.

The state credit would target working families with tax breaks or actual payments.

“A North Carolina state earned income tax credit would supplement wages for these families, making work pay and providing them with additional income to help them close the gap between what they earn and what they need to pay for these basic expenses,” said Meg Gray of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, part of the NC Justice Center anti-poverty organization.>

Critics are quick to point out the state program could cost the state $65 million or more and would largely be paid by taxpayers who don't qualify for the credit.