State Reps. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) provided sponsor testimony, Tuesdasy, before the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee on House Bill (HB) 59, which would modify the State’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
HB 59 would provide a refundable 10 percent tax credit for EITC recipients in addition to a 20 percent nonrefundable credit. These modifications come after recent changes to the EITC during the 133rd General Assembly, which increased the EITC from 10 percent to 30 percent but left it nonrefundable, offering no boost for working families.
“I have been advocating for a refundable Working Families Tax Credit for more than a decade as it is recognized as one the largest anti-poverty measures in the United States, while promoting and supporting work and families,” said Rep. Skindell. “The fact that Ohio’s EITC is not refundable makes Ohio’s tax credit one of the weakest of the 30 states with an EITC.”
“In 2018, nearly 5.6 million people were lifted out of poverty as a result of the federal EITC and the severity of poverty was reduced for 16.5 million people,” said Rep. Crawley. “In the midst of an economic recovery for Ohioans and a major health crisis, refundable earned income tax credits are one way to better provide economic security for families across the state. There is also a direct correlation between EITC and birth outcomes, and with Ohio having one of the worst outcomes for infant mortality in the nation, we should be doing everything we can to ensure that infants have better lives and brighter futures.”
Besides fueling the economy, the EITC increases children’s educational performance and attainment, improves health outcomes, and provides a short-term safety net. Studies have shown that the EITC directly impacts infant health measures through improved birth rate as the generosity of state EITC increases. The EITC also provides benefits for veterans and military households since around two million veterans and military households benefit from EITC.
HB 59 now awaits further hearings in the House Ways and Means Committee.