State Rep From Milwaukee Wants Expansion of EITC


A legislative proposal in the works would restore a tax credit for the working poor.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was scaled back in the last budget, in which Governor Scott Walker cut $27 million from a program that provides the tax credits for the working poor.

In this budget, Governor Walker wants a broad tax cut affecting 73 percent of filers. Walker’s proposed tax cut would decrease rates for the lowest three income brackets.

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But as Madison alder Lisa Subeck points out, that would amount to less than $2 a week for many of her constituents: “Quite frankly that $1.40 that Governor Walker is offering people isn’t even enough to buy a gallon of milk. That $1.40 just isn’t going to cut it.”

Subeck and others say a better way to achieve tax relief for the working poor is through the EITC. Milwaukee state Representative Dan Riemer is proposing a bill to restore it to previous levels: “The EITC is not a handout. It rewards working individuals who find a job, stay employed, take on extra hours or find an extra job.”

Three hundred ninety thousand households in Wisconsin used the EITC in 2011. Representative Reimer also wants to restore the homestead credit to previous levels.