Public-Private Campaign Launched to Drive Participation to New State Earned Income Tax Credit
SACRAMENTO, CA (December 2, 2015)–The Office of Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined California leaders today to announce the launch of CalEITC4Me, a statewide campaign involving community, faith, civic, labor and business leaders to ensure the first-ever California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) winds up in the hands of those who worked hard to earn it. The campaign will also focus on increasing the availability of free tax preparation services locally.
Governor Brown’s 2015-16 Budget established the state’s first EITC, designed to complement the federal EITC. California working families will now be eligible for both state and federal EITC benefits. With nearly $400 million dollars available through the new state ETIC, an estimated $2.3 billion is available for Californians.
“This tax credit puts money back into the pockets of hard working Californians who need it the most” said Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary to Governor Brown. “This program also will add hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy in income, business sales, new jobs, and tax revenue.”
This statewide campaign brings together multiple state agencies and a broad coalition committed to fostering economic opportunity and financial security for Californians barely making ends meet. It was initiated by Golden State Opportunity, a new foundation created by California entrepreneur Joseph N. Sanberg.
“Our state has a huge opportunity to improve the lives of hard-working Californians by connecting those eligible with millions of dollars of CalEITC – dollars that will be used to pay rent, buy food for young children and pay for transportation to needed jobs,” said Sanberg, CalEITC4Me Chair. “We all have a stake in ensuring CalEITC’s success.”
Historically, California ranks amongst the lowest in uptake of the federal EITC, leaving $1.8 billion available to those who need it most in our state. Now with nearly $400 million dollars available through a new state ETIC, an estimated $2.3 billion is available for Californians.
“For me, creating a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit was the highlight of our 2015 legislative year because the federal Earned Income Tax Credit is widely regarded to be one of the most effective anti-poverty measures our country has,” California Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins said.
Studies show young children in households that receive the federal EITC do better in school, are more likely to attend college and earn more. “The benefit of the EITC is more than just financial, which is why it’s so important for families that are eligible to receive it,” said Manuel Romero, special projects director, Central California Legal Services. “The opportunity to get caught up by paying past-due bills, or even avoiding eviction, reduces the stress of everyday life and the health problems it can cause.”
A key component of the campaign is working hand in hand with trusted community partners who serve and interact on a daily basis with those most likely to be eligible. Bilingual helpful materials are available to support these local organizations in their on-the ground outreach and education efforts.
“This comprehensive statewide campaign is organized community-by-community to reach Californians where they live, work, learn, worship and shop,” said California Controller Betty Yee, the state’s chief fiscal officer. “We will be deploying easy-to-use tools, outreach, events, state-of-the-art technology, and an army of volunteers to reach as many workers as possible throughout the tax filing season.”
CalEITC4Me.org is a one-stop, multilingual online hub of information and interactive resources. Innovative online tools have been developed to include the CalEITC4Me Calculator, a user-friendly tool, created for California by the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, where individuals can determine their new state and federal EITC eligibility and potential refund in a few easy steps; the Free Tax Prep Finder which connects families to local free tax preparation services; and the interactive CalEITC4Me Heat Map that allows nonprofits, government agencies and others to identify key regions of eligible filers by ZIP code and other searchable criteria.
CalEITC4Me is a public-private partnership to spread awareness of the first-ever state Earned Income Tax Credit and put more money into the hands of hard-working Californians.