MEDIA RELEASE: Individuals in health, education and public-safety occupations benefit from Earned Income Tax Credit

The state EITC supports workers, benefits families and local economies, according to a new report
 

RALEIGH (March 29, 2012) – Individuals working in health, education and public-safety occupations among others benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit, according to a new report, which aids low and moderate-income families across North Carolina.

Workers earning entry-level and average salaries in a variety of occupations could be income-eligible for the EITC, said a report released this morning by the NC Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center, including firefighters, nursing aides, teachers, police patrol officers, restaurant workers, and retail salespersons. More than 880,000 working North Carolinians received the state EITC in 2010, the report said.

Working North Carolinians face stagnant wages, declining benefits and higher costs for their most basic needs, the report said. The EITC, which was established as a federal credit in 1975 and a state credit in NC in 2008, has been a proven strategy to support workers. Families that receive the federal credit are eligible for a state credit worth 5 percent of the federal credit, and because the state EITC is a refundable tax credit, the report said, it offsets taxes paid by low-income workers as well as providing an incentive to work when wages are low.

The report said that occupational analysis of EITC income-eligibility thresholds shows that workers in a wide range of industries could be eligible for the credit. Occupations with the five largest shares of employment in NC – office and administrative support, sales, food preparation and serving, production, and transportation and material moving – have entry and average earnings within the income-eligible threshold for the EITC. Thanks to the credit, these workers receive a boost to earnings and a greater ability to make ends meet, the report said.

Low- and moderate-wage workers pay a greater share of their incomes in total state and local taxes than higher-income families do and the state EITC helps to correct the imbalance. Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the BTC and author of the report, added that the EITC benefits not only the taxpayers who receive the credit but their families and local economies.

“Through the Earned Income Tax Credit, workers from across the state are able to make ends meet and continue to work toward a more secure economic future,” Sirota said. “These include workers in education, health and public‐safety occupations essential for the overall well‐being of the people of North Carolina.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, BTC Director, 919.861.1468, alexandra@ncjustice.org; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, 503.551.3615; jeff@ncjustice.org