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More than $64M available: Are you missing out on important “Earned Income,” “Child Tax Credits?”

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MILWAUKEE — Citizen Action of Wisconsin held a news conference Thursday, February 25th with several local leaders to make sure people aren’t missing out on very important tax credit.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin news conference on Earned Income, Child Tax Credits

Citizen Action of Wisconsin news conference on Earned Income, Child Tax Credits

They say more than $64 million is available for “Earned Income” and “Child Tax Credits” for workers in Milwaukee County.

An estimated one out of every five people eligible for these tax credits don’t take advantage of them — leaving millions per year on the table.

Below is a statement issued to FOX6 News by Citizen Action of Wisconsin with more information on this tax credit:

Citizen Action of Wisconsin news conference on Earned Income, Child Tax Credits

Citizen Action of Wisconsin news conference on Earned Income, Child Tax Credits

On Thursday, February 25th, Citizen Action of Wisconsin held a news conference with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, State Senator Chris Larson, and local mayors and state legislators to discuss up to $64,657,793 in available Earned Income and Child Tax Credits which could be left on the table by workers in Milwaukee County.​

The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are the largest targeted anti-poverty programs in the country. Targeted to working families, the Earned Income Tax Credit is widely recognized as a powerful tool to encourage work, put money back in the pockets of working families to help them afford the basics, and stimulate local economic growth.

The Earned Income Tax Credit averaged $2,593 per applicant in Milwaukee County in 2013, and can mean as much as $6,269 per year to lower-income working parents. The Child Tax Credit means up to $1,000 per child in refundable tax credits. An estimated one out of five people eligible for these tax credits do not take advantage of them, leaving millions per year on the table.

Eligible Residents and Total Tax Credits Left on the Table Per Year

Select Areas Eligible Residents1 Average Earned Income Tax Credit Per Person2 Total Funds on at risk3
Milwaukee County 23,413 people $2,593 $64,657,793 per year
Waukesha County 3,379 $1,778 $6,736,948
Milwaukee 17,882 $2,732 $51,650,758
West Allis 1,200 $2,081 $2,765,989
Greenfield 697 $2,141 $1,656,852
Wauwatosa 613 $2,140 $1,439,607
Glendale 400 $2,779 $1,173,796
Oak Creek 440 $2,020 $992,680
South Milwaukee 394 $2,201 $955,294
Cudahy 379 $2,216 $918,220
Franklin 276 $1,861 $572,177
St. Francis 139 $1,843 $284,207
Statewide 25,805 $2,045 $230,552,177 per year

1-Estimate from 2013 Earned Income Tax Credit local county figures, Brookings Institute

2-Based on average individual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in 2013

3-Figured based on residents eligible for EITC and Child Tax Credit but haven’t claimed it.

Also participating in the news conference were West Allis Mayor Dan Devine, State Rep. Daniel Riemer, State Rep. Mandela Barnes, Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy, Citizen Action Community Organizer Luz Sosa, and State Rep. Josh Zepnick.

“Our communities cannot thrive when workers hold lower-wage economy-busting jobs. When working families can afford the basics, they are able to spend money at local businesses, generating more jobs and more prosperity,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director at Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Promoting the Earned Income Tax Credit ensures that more tax dollars enter Milwaukee’s economy directly through local families spending money in local businesses on basic needs like food, clothing, and other necessities.”

Available resources highlighted to help local resident file taxes included United Way’s Free Tax Tool and local free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.

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