LANSING, Mich., Dec. 10, 2021 — Earlier this week, state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) introduced House Bill 5641, which would expand Michigan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to childless adults between the ages of 18 and 24. State Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Washtenaw County) is advancing a similar bill, SB 790, in the Senate.
“Nearly a quarter of young adults live in poverty,” Pohutsky said. “They need a break. They’re just starting their lives, and many are carrying heavy student loan debts. Many are juggling an impossible load of school and full-time work. Expanding the EITC for this age group would increase economic mobility in low-income and marginalized communities. These hardworking Michiganders deserve our support.”
Young adults face the highest poverty rates out of any age group and historic levels of unemployment following the onset of the pandemic. Young adults had traditionally been excluded from the EITC because policymakers had assumed that they received adequate financial support from their parents, which is untrue for many young people, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of our best tools for lifting people out of poverty and putting money back into our economy,” Irwin said. “The tax relief Michiganders receive from the EITC helps them spend money on fixing their car, paying rent or other everyday expenses. Excluding 18- to 24-year-olds from the EITC is deepening inequality and economically disadvantaging young people just as they are getting started. Including them will mean lower taxes and more money in the pockets of essential workers.”