Monday, March 27, 2023

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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

WA Tax Program Puts Out Call for Volunteers as Year Ends

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Monday, November 28, 2022   

It may seem early, but programs across the country are preparing to help people with their 2022 income tax returns.

In Washington state, United Way of King County is calling for volunteers for its free tax-preparation program.

Ryan McFerran, program manager of tax credits and financial stability for the organization, said they rely on hundreds of volunteers each year. He pointed out there are a couple of different volunteer roles, including tax preparers who get to serve people directly.

"In most cases they get to tell those people that they're going to be receiving some money, in the form of a tax refund and other financial assistance," McFerran observed. "Which is typically pretty rewarding for volunteers."

McFerran pointed out the program will be offered on-site and virtually. He emphasized people do not need tax-prep experience to volunteer. There will be five training opportunities, with the first happening this weekend, and the last in mid-January. The program also is looking for community intake specialists who will assist at tax sites.

McFerran noted when they file their income taxes, low and middle-income families are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which he sees as one of the federal government's most vital anti-poverty programs.

"Taxes are actually a really great way to access the cash that they may need in order to cover their basic expenses, put a little bit more food on the table," McFerran outlined. "Maybe they have an overdue utility bill that they need to pay."

He also explained the Working Families Tax Credit will be widely available to families in Washington state, including those who are undocumented. He added people looking to apply for the credit should visit a tax-preparation site.

Disclosure: The United Way of King County contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Education, Housing/Homelessness, and Human Rights/Racial Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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