Home Census New MI Group Census Data Highlights Need for Higher EITC / Public News Service

New MI Group Census Data Highlights Need for Higher EITC / Public News Service

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The latest county census data revealed that Michigan child poverty rate remains at 19%, and child and family advocacy groups say it’s time to raise the state Earned income tax credit (EITC).

Michigan residents are grappling with inflation, including high food and gas prices, rising child care costs, and other basic needs.

Monique Stanton, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, said census numbers show now is an important time to put money in the hands of working families. She noted that almost every aspect of children’s lives improves when their parents are in a better financial position.

“The amount of tax credit you get increases with the number of children you have, and it’s also influenced by your particular income,” Stanton explained. “In Michigan, we have a federal credit rate of only 6%, that’s one of the lowest rates in the country. And we have the ability to raise the rate significantly.”

Stanton noted that lawmakers are the introduction of increases from 20% to 30%. She pointed out that children of color have higher poverty rates, about two to three times higher than white children, and that the EITC is a strategy to equitably reduce child poverty rates.

Matt Gillard, president and CEO of Michigan’s Children’s Group, acknowledged that the state had long struggled with high poverty rates for families with children, even before the pandemic. He said that because EITC money often goes directly back into the local economy, bipartisan groups of lawmakers and the business community are in favor.

“Putting that money back into the hands of working families dramatically improves their position and situation,” Gillard said. “And helps them cover the costs of raising children and helps improve the lives of those children, but also helps local economies.”

Studies have shown that greater access to the EITC leads to lower rates infant mortality, offsets some racial disparities in the tax system, and may even lead to higher incomes for children later in life.

It was shown at improve test resultsespecially for boys, children under 12, black and Latino children, and those whose parents are unmarried.

Disclosure: The Michigan League for Public Policy/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on policy and budget priorities, children’s issues, living wages/working families, and poverty issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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