200,000 Utah Mothers Benefit From Tax Credits for Lower-Income Working Families

07 May 2015 Published in Press Release Archive

Supporting Moms so they can support their kidsSalt Lake City–Just in time for Mothers Day, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released data estimating that about 21 million mothers in low- and moderate-income working families nationwide—including 200,000 Utah mothers—receive either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the low-income portion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) when they file their taxes every year. About 10 million of these mothers are single mothers. Combined, the EITC and CTC lifted 9.4 million people out of poverty in 2013, more than any other federal program other than Social Security.

“Especially with our large gender wage gap in Utah, Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits are crucial for Utah mothers and their children,” said Matthew Weinstein, State Fiscal Policy Director at Voices for Utah Children. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has found that Utah women are two and a half times as likely to work in low-wage jobs as Utah men (women nationally are only twice as likely as men nationally). A third of these Utah women working in low-wage jobs are mothers.

“These tax credits provide the means for low-income moms to pay for the very things that allow them to work and improve their family’s situation, such as child care and transportation,” said Weinstein.

Numerous studies have documented how working-family tax credits lead to increased work effort. Research has also found that these tax credits produce better educational and work outcomes for parents and for their children later in life.

The EITC and CTC have enjoyed strong, bipartisan support over the years but unless Congress acts, millions of moms and kids will lose some or all of the important benefits they receive from the EITC and CTC when key provisions of the EITC and CTC expire at the end of 2017, including:

• a lower CTC earnings exclusion, which expands the credit for millions of working families and means fewer working-poor families are shut out of the credit entirely

• EITC “marriage-penalty” relief

• a larger EITC for families raising more than two children

“If you want to help working moms right here in Utah this Mother’s Day, consider calling your elected officials in Congress and asking them to support moms and kids by making these Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit reforms permanent,” suggested Weinstein.