U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) advocated today in Toledo for passage of a tax credit that would aid working low-income people.
Mr. Brown, who acknowledged the legislation will cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, said it will also benefit local communities by returning refunds to be spent in the community.
The legislation would expand and make permanent a tax credit that officials say is underutilized.
Senator Brown was joined by officials of the United Way of Greater Toledo, the East Toledo Family Center, and Lucas County officials Commissioner Tina Wozniak and Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz at the East Toledo facility on Varland Avenue.
He said the EITC has a history of Republican support.
The average family that qualifies for the current Earned Income Tax Credit gets $2,200. It is "refundable," meaning taxpayers will get a check even if they don't owe any taxes. Mr. Brown's legislation would enable workers without children to also get the credit.
Standing with the senator was Rose Olea of Toledo and her son, Nathan Sansoucie, 4. Ms. Olea is a full-time chef manager in a fast-food restaurant being paid $9.35 an hour. She said she got free tax help at the East Toledo Family Center that helps her family pay their bills.
"Without the earned income tax credit it would be hard. We struggle enough as it is. It really helps out a lot," Ms. Olea said.
Mr. Brown said the free tax advice at the East Toledo family center has helped 250 families get refunds of $116,000. He said 950,000 Ohioans saved more than $2.1 billion through the Earned Income Tax Credit last year, and thousands of Ohioans miss out on this credit by failing to apply.
A spokesman for Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) said he supports the EITC, though he is not a co-sponsor of Senator Brown's bill, which now has 32 Democratic co-sponsors.