At United Way – in every community we serve – we are fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every individual and every family. In my role at United Way of Kentucky, I know that one of most powerful tools our network brings to local communities is our voice. This is why I advocate.
On June 11-13, I will visit Washington, D.C., to meet with other United Way staff, board volunteers and executives, from small and large communities across the nation, to discuss the return-on-investment for working family tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). These credits are proven supports that help lower-income families work their way from program and government dependency to self-sufficiency. They prevent families from being taxed into poverty, improve education outcomes, and bolster local economies. They cover both basic and emergency needs that keep families working and on-track for success.
I'll then meet with key legislators from Kentucky’s congressional delegation. I plan to use this opportunity to strengthen those relationships, and to invite our elected officials to visit one of the many impactful programs that are helping Kentuckians achieve their full potential. However, as a constituent, community leader and voter, I will also encourage them to support these proposals:
Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit
While the EITC is one of the most effective tools we have to help working families keep their heads above water, legislation currently excludes millions of workers from the credit’s pro-work, anti-poverty impacts.
- Proposed solution: Expand the EITC for workers not raising kids at home and for young people ages 21 to 24.
Improving Access to the Child Tax Credit
Currently the lowest-income working families cannot access the full amount of the CTC ($2,000). Boosting the incomes of very low-income families with young children can have lasting benefits on child health and educational success.
- Proposed solution: Improve Child Tax Credit legislation to ensure our nation’s lowest-income working families can access the full amount of the CTC, and increase the maximum credit for those with young children.
Improving the Charitable Deduction
Charitable giving is enables donors to invest in their communities and meet local needs related to causes that impact their families. The federal charitable tax deduction reflects our unique American values and commitment to helping our neighbors. The deduction negates the federal tax on income that is reinvested in local communities through charity.
- Proposed Solution: Congress can address the unintended consequences of recent tax reforms by expanding the charitable deduction to all American taxpayers.
These causes matter to Kentuckians, and to communities across the nation. I advocate because when low-income families achieve self-sufficiency, communities are stronger. I advocate because day in and day out, United Way brings the intellectual, financial and collaborative resources to bear on the most difficult problems facing people. No other organization can unite volunteer leadership, corporate leadership, the non-profit sector, and government leaders like United Way. No other organization has the local, state and national presence to convene the right partners to address these community concerns. No other organization is so uniquely positioned in this nation to be a catalyst for hope, and right now, hope is what this nation needs more than ever before.
That is why I advocate, and why I think you should too. Right now, you can ask Congress to expand the EITC for working Americans who are shut out from the credit. Your legislators want to hear from you, and you won’t regret it.