The Secret of Utah’s Success
The secret of Utah’s success has long been our strong, hardworking families. For many of these families, the secret of their success has been the financial boost they get when they file their taxes, thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
The EITC was created under President Gerald R. Ford in 1975 as a way to support low-wage workers and their children. Its success in promoting work, independence, and family self-sufficiency has made it a bipartisan favorite. In 1986, the EITC was expanded by President Ronald Reagan as part of his historic Tax Reform Act, and every president since has improved and expanded it further. The results have been remarkable. In-depth studies have documented the EITC’s effects on both parents and children:
- increased employment and earnings
- reduced welfare dependency
- improved maternal and child health
- enhanced school performance, including high school graduation and college matriculation rates
The EITC’s success in helping families succeed has led 26 states to create their own versions of the EITC, and that number grows every year. State EITC legislation passed the Utah House of Representatives in 2013 and 2014, indicating how seriously Utah legislators are considering this proposal.
This booklet shares the stories of hardworking Utah families whose lives have been transformed by the EITC. About 200,000 Utah families receive the EITC every year, nearly 20% of all filers. These families include about 300,000 children. As you read their stories, imagine how many more families will see their lives improve and their children’s prospects expand once Utah creates our own state version of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Sharing Their Stories
EITC Facts for Utah
- 204,000 Utah households received the federal EITC during 2015 for Tax Year 2014, about one in five tax filers.
- Utah’s EITC households include about 200,000 workers and 300,000 children.
- The EITC brought about $471 million into Utah’s economy in 2014.
- Thousands of veterans and military families are helped, at a higher rate than the general population.
- Were it not for the EITC, 67,000 more Utahns would have fallen into poverty in 2014, including 35,000 children. This would have raised Utah’s overall poverty rate by about 2.4 percentage points—about a one-quarter increase. For children, the increase would have amounted to 3.9 percentage points or a 40% increase in child poverty.
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For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.
How can you be involved?
Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more. Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!
We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.
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