FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 22, 2016
Speaker Atkins Office:
SPEAKER ATKINS LEADS EFFORT TO PUT NEARLY $600 MILLION BACK IN THE HANDS OF HARD-WORKING SAN DIEGANS
CA Partnership with CalEITC4Me Drives Participation in New State Earned Income Tax Credit
SAN DIEGO, CA – State Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins, Assembly member Shirley Weber and nearly 100 community representatives from diverse sectors joined the CalEITC4Me Campaign in celebration of California’s EITC Day Friday at the Jacobs Center in San Diego to mark the availability of the new state Earned Income Tax Credit. Speaker Atkins played a leading role in the governor’s decision to include a state EITC in the 2015-16 state budget.
“The federal Earned Income Tax Credit has a demonstrated track record of improving the lives of working families,” Speaker Atkins said. “Adding the new California EITC is a tremendous opportunity for hard-working Californians to keep more of the money that they earn and help them to take care of their families. We can’t miss the chance to bring home these dollars for San Diegans. The end result is a stronger local economy.”
“This tax season, nearly $600 million in San Diego is available between the state and federal EITCs for San Diego’s working families,” Weber said. “That’s an estimated 50,000 filers who are eligible for CalEITC in San Diego County, benefiting up to 120,000 people.”
The CalEITC was designed to complement the impact of the federal EITC, with many of California’s working families now eligible for both state and federal EITC benefits. Historically, California is ranked among the lowest in filing for the federal EITC, leaving $1.8 billion on the table that otherwise would have been available to those who need it the most. Now with nearly $400 million available through the CalEITC, an estimated $2.3 billion is available for Californians between both the state and federal programs. The CalEITC4Me public/private campaign aims to keep these much-needed dollars with the people who earned them, the workers.
“Speaker Atkins’ leadership was key to securing a state EITC for California, our first new anti-poverty program in decades, and CalEITC4Me is proud to stand with her today,” said Joseph N. Sanberg, Chair of Golden State Opportunity, a new foundation that initiated the CalEITC4Me campaign. “The next step happens now. Simply filing their tax returns and claiming the credit will put money back into the pockets of as many as 600,000 eligible California individuals and families; money that can help pay for today’s necessities and a brighter future.”
CalEITC4Me is a statewide campaign involving community, faith, civic, labor and business leaders to ensure that the first-ever CalEITC winds up in the hands of those who worked hard to earn it. A key component of the campaign is working hand-in-hand with trusted community partners who serve and interact on a daily basis with those most likely to be eligible. Helpful bilingual materials are available to support these local organizations in their on-the-ground outreach and education efforts. The campaign will also focus on increasing the availability of free tax preparation locally, providing mini-grants to local organizations that will help families access the EITC.
“We are thrilled to receive a CalEITC4Me grant to expand our capacity to serve families in the San Diego region, working hand-in-hand with our local partners who will reach eligible CalEITC families where they live, work, and learn,” said Shaina Gross SVP, Chief Impact Officer.
CalEITC4Me is a public-private partnership to spread awareness of the first-ever state Earned Income Tax Credit and put more money into the hands of hard-working Californians. CalEITC4ME is a one-stop, multilingual online hub of information and interactive resources. Innovative online tools have been developed to include the CalEITC4Me Calculator, a user-friendly tool, created for California by the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, where individuals can determine their new state and federal EITC eligibility and potential refund in a few easy steps; the Free Tax Prep Finder which connects families to local free tax preparation services; and the interactive CalEITC4Me Heat Map that allows nonprofits, government agencies and others to identify key regions of eligible filers by ZIP code and other searchable criteria. To learn more about CalEITC4Me, click here. To learn more about Golden State Opportunity, click here. Follow the event on social media at Twitter handle @CalEITC4Me and Facebook.com/CalEITC4Me.