As state treasurer, I don’t just invest money on behalf of Illinois taxpayers, I also work to provide Illinois families with tools to invest in themselves. The Illinois Earned Income Credit is one such tool.
This tax credit is an important investment for families in Illinois who work to save money for college or retirement, or just to pay the bills.
The General Assembly must extend the Illinois earned income credit and give real tax relief to most workers earning less than $ 56,000 a year. The credit could amount to as much as $ 1,200 for about half a million Illinois families. The state bill would extend credit to other taxpayers, who are currently excluded due to bureaucratic regulations.
As the state’s director of investment and banking, I understand what an expanded earned income credit could mean for Illinois. This would provide a return on investment for the hardworking Illinoisians who power our economy.
Studies of earned income credit show that every dollar invested through credit translates into $ 1.50 to $ 2 of economic activity in local communities. President and Illinois native Ronald Reagan called bill expanding federal income tax credit “the best anti-poverty, the best family-friendly, the best job creation measure outcome of the Congress “.
This is exactly the kind of investment strategy we should all support as our economy begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We should work together, across the partisan aisle, to find ways to support families most affected by COVID-19.
Studies have proven President Reagan right about the earned income credit. It is one of the most effective tools in the fight against poverty.
Extending the Earned Income Credit now is a smart and simple way to help families who are already hard working and playing by the rules.
Currently, the Earned Income Credit reaches all communities in Illinois, but not all families who need it. Helping about half a million more Illinois families is the right thing to do.
I encourage all Illinois residents to check if they are eligible for the Earned Income Credit. And I urge my former colleagues in the Illinois General Assembly to support this legislation, so that the earned income credit is available to the hardest working families.
Michael Frerichs is the Treasurer of the State of Illinois.