LANSING – Following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s call to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit in her budget presentation today, state Rep. Angela Witwer introduced legislation today to help working families keep more of their hard-earned money by restoring the credit it its pre-2011 level. House Bill 4298 would return the EITC, which is available to low- to moderate-income working people who meet certain eligibility criteria, back to 20 percent of the federal level, where it sat before it was cut in 2011.

“So many of our state’s working families are struggling to get by, despite everyday Michiganders working two or even three jobs to keep food on the table,” said Rep. Witwer. “My legislation ensures that those hard workers are able to keep more of their own money and put it toward the things that matter most to them, allowing them, for the first time in years, to really get ahead. No one who is working should have to struggle to keep food on the table or to pay for child care, and restoring the EITC will help relieve some of that burden.”

The EITC is a proven-effective anti-poverty tool, and research has shown that states with high EITCs provide additional incentives for families to continue working. According to the Michigan League for Public Policy, restoring the EITC to 20 percent of the federal level would lift approximately 15,000 additional Michigan families out of poverty, boosting small businesses and local economies in the process. Currently Michigan has one of the weakest EITCs in the nation, and Rep. Witwer’s bill to restore it to 20 percent would represent an average tax return increase of $300 per family annually.