October 27, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children, 505-244-9505
ALBUQUERQUE—As New Mexico’s recovery from the recession continues to lag behind the rest of the nation, lawmakers should expand the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) to increase the purchasing power of low-income working New Mexicans and generate economic activity.
The WFTC is a state-level version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is considered one of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty programs. This is especially important because while things are getting better nationwide, recent Census data show that in New Mexico, poverty has actually gotten worse.
“These tax credits for low-income families further incentivize work and the money is spent quickly and in local stores and businesses,” said Veronica García, Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children. “The credits can also help families with big expenses, such as a car repair and child care, that can help keep parents in the workforce.”
New Mexico’s WFTC is currently worth 10 percent of the federal EITC, but the report recommends raising it to 15 percent or more. Expanding outreach efforts so that more eligible workers know to claim it, and offering more low-cost or free tax preparation services are also among the recommendations. The report recommendations were presented to the legislative Revenue Stabilization and Tap Policy committee last week.
The credit benefits almost 300,000 New Mexico children and has lifted more than 40,000 families out of poverty. Among those who benefit from the credits are 14,000 families headed by military veterans who are making their way back into the workforce.
The full report is available online at: https://www.nmvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/WFTC-report-10-2014-web.pdf