North Carolina families need help

By: - January 30, 2007 1:46 pm

EITCTomorrow policymakers and leaders of several state organizations will hold a joint news conference to promote passage of a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which will help more than 800,000 low- and moderate-income North Carolinians build wealth and gain economic security.
The importance of a state EITC is emphasized in a report released last week , that showed

Children who grow up poor cost the economy $500 billion a year because they are less productive, earn less money, commit more crimes and have more health-related expenses…

Harry J. Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University and the Urban Institute and one of the four authors of the report to the House Ways and Means Committee

“The high cost of childhood poverty to the U.S. suggests that investing significant resources in poverty reduction might be more cost effective than we though.”

Holzer goes on to say,

[S]ome efforts, especially the earned-income tax credit, which benefits low-income workers, and quality prekindergarten education had been shown to justify their cost and deserved to expand.

North Carolina already does a pretty good job of providing quality prekindergarten education through its SmartStart and More at Four programs, but it could do much more to help the 43% of North Carolina children living in low-income families. A state EITC program would be a cost-effective way to provide additional support to families.

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