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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Advocates Push for 'Tax Fairness' with Expanded Child Tax Credits

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Monday, June 5, 2023   

As Massachusetts lawmakers work to finalize tax-relief measures, advocates for low-income families are calling for an expansion of tax credits proven to reduce poverty.

Advocates want to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit state match rate from 30% to 50%, expand the credit to working immigrants and pass an inclusive Child and Family Tax Credit.

Charlotte Bruce, senior research and policy analyst for Children's HealthWatch, said the tax credits will ultimately benefit the entire state.

"When you're putting money back into families' pockets, you're not only supporting their ability to afford basic needs and cost of living," Bruce explained. "They're also putting that money right back into their local economies."

Bruce noted all eyes are on the Senate to see how targeted their tax package will be as both Gov. Maura Healy and House lawmakers have already proposed some credit expansions. Bruce emphasized both tax credits reach overlapping but different populations to provide some relief in one of the country's most expensive states.

Supporters of the expanded tax credits say they provide greater "tax fairness" for some of the Commonwealth's most vulnerable families.

Ancel Tejada, financial empowerment program manager for the Massachusetts Association for Community Action, a coalition of more than twenty community action agencies, called the tax credits "course changing," for one mother who rebuilt her credit score.

"By fixing the credit, she was able to get a new apartment to move her family out of a situation that she wasn't comfortable with," Tejada observed. "Because her credit was the only thing holding her back."

As some lawmakers promote greater tax cuts for Massachusetts' wealthiest households, advocates for low-income families are urging people to contact their legislators and urge them to better use the tax code to help those in need.

Disclosure: The Massachusetts Association for Community Action contributes to our fund for reporting on Housing/Homelessness, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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