Will 37,000 Maine families get left behind in corporate tax cut deal?

Will 37,000 Maine families get left behind in corporate tax cut deal?

As soon as today, there may be reports of a major tax deal that would extend or even make permanent numerous tax breaks for businesses. Also on the table, but not yet guaranteed for inclusion, are the now-temporary working family tax credit improvements.

These improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, enacted in 2009, have been shown to lift working families and their children out of poverty and encourage work by boosting incomes so workers to pay for things that help keep them employed, like childcare and car repairs.

According to estimates by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the consequences if Congress lets the 2009 improvements expire would be severe:

  • 64,000 children in 37,000 Maine families would lose some or all of their credits, a total of $30 million in tax credits.
  • 16,000 children and 34,000 Mainers overall would fall into or deeper into poverty.
  • 6,000 Maine veteran and military families would lose some or all of their credits.
  • 26,000 families in rural areas would lose some or all of their credits.

According to the Maine Center for Economic Policy, workers who would be affected include those in the health care (5,800), construction (5,100), and education industries (3,300).

Maine Senator Angus King recently publicly declared his support for helping working families if Congress takes action on tax credits for businesses. Senator Susan Collins remarked on the importance of tax credit provisions for working families earlier this year, though she has not made any recent public statements about the credits in the context of ongoing congressional negotiations.

Photo via Flickr/401(K) 2012

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