Democrat debuts bill expanding EITC to younger workers

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    State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) this week introduced a bill extending a low-income tax credit to childless workers between ages 18 to 24.

    Laurie Pohutsky

    House Bill 4919 expand’s the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is currently only available to qualifying residents without children between the ages of 25 to 64. The 2019 Kids Count report issued by the nonpartisan Michigan League of Public Policy found that roughly 25% of Michiganders ages 18 to 24 live in poverty

    “Michigan’s young workers are an integral part of our state’s success, but we rarely give them the attention they deserve,” said Pohutsky. “Economic security is the foundation upon which we all build successful, fulfilling lives, and it’s up to us to support our young people when they need it most. I can think of no better way to honor Labor Day than by fighting to ensure that even our youngest workers are given a chance to make a future for themselves here in our state.”

    Currently, low-income Michigan residents can claim on their tax return 6% of the federal EITC. GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder cut it from 20% in order to pay for his $2 billion corporate tax cut in 2011.

    6 states have hiked a tax credit for the working class  — but not Michigan

    Per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), individuals qualify for the EITC based on income levels in which they must make less than:

    • $15,270 if single with no qualifying children
    • $49,194 if single with three or more qualifying children
    • $20,950 for families with no qualifying children
    • $54,884 for families with three or more qualifying children

    Michigan League for Public Policy chart 

    Democrats this year have proposed several measures expanding the EITC. In her Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for the EITC to be increased to 12%.

    State Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) has legislation increasing the EITC to 30% and state Rep. Angela Witwer (D-Delta Twp.) introduced a bill hiking the rate to 20%.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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