Proponents of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) unveiled a new tool Monday to help lawmakers see what the credit would do in their districts.
The Invest in Working Families Coalition launched the interactive web site www.investinwvfamilies.org, during a press conference at the Capitol. The site allows users to search the state by city, and either delegate or senate district.
“When you let working families keep more of what they earn, they put that money right back into local economies,” said Seth DiStefano, spokesperson for the coalition.
West Virginia would join 26 other states and the District of Columbia in a state level EITC. A federal EITC was enacted in the 1970s under President Gerald Ford, and eliminates the tax liability for low wage earners.
West Virginia Citizen Action Group executive director Gary Zuckett said lawmakers — in pursuit of tax reform since April — could do the working people of the state a great deal of good by enacting a state EITC.
“This is a proven anti-poverty program,” Zuckett said. The current tax structure is “upside down,” he continued, with the lowest wage earners paying 7.1 percent of their income in taxes, while the top 1 percent pay 5.9 percent.