RALEIGH (April 2, 2015) — After economists gathered earlier this week to discuss the important role of tax credits for working families in supporting an inclusive economy, the Budget & Tax Center released a report today detailing the reach of the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). More than 1 million taxpayers and working families have benefited from this important credit.

“It is clear that what is best for North Carolina’s economy now and for the long-term is making sure that working families can make ends meet and contribute to economic growth,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. “The state EITC is one tool that helps build an economy that works for all.”

One year ago, North Carolina’s working families claimed a tax credit for the last time that helped them make ends meet in an off-kilter economy. The state EITC went to families that work but earn low wages, and helped them keep more of what they earn so that they can stay in the workforce, support their children, and avoid poverty and public assistance. Preliminary estimates for tax year 2013 show that 927,029 North Carolinians claimed the state EITC for tax year 2013, benefiting more than 1.2 million children.

Economists gathered on Tuesday at an event hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond to share the latest research on the effectiveness of this tax credit for working families. Findings from the event can be found at this link.

As working families struggled to pay the bills during a recovery marked by flat wage growth and a boom in low-wage occupations, the state EITC played a critical role in providing a tax reduction to low-income workers. Given the strong evidence of this policy’s impact on strengthening labor force participation—especially among single mothers—this tax credit was particularly important in North Carolina as the state continues to see declines in labor force participation, despite the recovery. The benefits of the EITC are long-lasting and positive too: low-income children in families that get additional income through tax policies like the EITC perform better in school, are more likely to attend college, and earn more as adults on average.

“In light of the state’s low-wage recovery and declining labor force participation, policymakers must be oriented towards proven tools that support workers earning low wages,” Sirota said. “The EITC is that tool.”

Tazra Mitchell, a policy analyst with the Budget & Tax Center, will be sharing BTC’s latest research at a press event tomorrow, Thursday, April 2, immediately after the house session concludes in the NC General Assembly press room in downtown Raleigh.

Read the full report at this link: https://www.ncjustice.org/publications/tax-credits-for-working-families-deliver-broad-benefits-to-the-state/

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Alexandra Forter Sirota, alexandra@ncjustice.org; Tazra Mitchell, tazra@ncjustice.org, 919.861.1451; Jeff Shaw, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).