One of the successes of the last legislative session was the passage of a refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that will help 500,000 working families.
Identified as a solution to poverty since its inception at the federal level in 1975, the EITC is a strategic investment that will have a positive impact on workforce participation. Together the federal and state EITC can be the extra incentive needed to lift children and families out of poverty.
Our state and nonprofit agencies will only meet our collective policy goals if we are clear about where we are putting our resources, if we are doing so transparently and ethically and whether we are getting the best social return on our investment.
LANO was created 10 years ago to strengthen the ability of Louisiana’s nonprofits to improve the quality of life in our state. LANO began the Louisiana Budget Project, an independent research initiative that is part of the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI) coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
As part of the Louisiana Budget Project, LANO produced, “A Tax Credit that Works for Louisiana’s Working Families.” The document explained the potential impact of the EITC for the state, including the amount of funds that could be returned to each legislative district by families receiving the tax credit. This publication was used by the Legislature during the debate process to appreciate the impact of this strategic tax credit.
The state match to the federal EITC is a step in the right direction for the future of Louisiana’s families. We commend the state Legislature and Governor Blanco for creating the first state EITC in the South and the 22nd in the country.
Melissa S. Flournoy, Ph.D.,
President and CEO Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO)