April 18, 2023

Florida Coalition Touts Benefits of State-Level EITC, Unveils New Resources on Tax Day

A coalition of Florida-based groups in favor of greater tax relief for working Sunshine State families today unveiled a new website, workingfloridiansrebate.org, which espouses the benefits of enacting the Working Floridians Tax Rebate (WFTR), a state version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

In Florida, the WFTR, set at 20 percent of the federal EITC, would put over $1.1 billion back in people’s pockets, with an estimated average rebate of nearly $513 per household. The rebate could help a family afford the basics, purchase or repair a vehicle, or pay off bills and debt.

Twenty-eight states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have already enacted their own versions of the EITC.

Sadaf Knight, CEO of Florida Policy Institute (FPI), said: “The Working Floridians Tax Rebate would help address the state’s upside-down tax code, which places a disproportionate burden on people of color and people with low income. With the new website, we hope to build momentum around the idea of a rebate and draw in more partners from across the state.”

Felipe Pinzon, president/CEO of Hispanic Unity of Florida, said: “For years, Hispanic Unity of Florida has been providing free tax preparation services to our community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. We have seen that programs like the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are poverty fighting tools that greatly benefit our community. By modernizing and creating a state-level EITC, Florida’s families would have another tool to help build towards prosperity.”

Afifa Khaliq, chief of staff at SEIU Florida Public Services Union, said: "Working families in Florida have been instrumental in sustaining our economy through their hard work and through the taxes they pay. It is important for Florida's financial stability that we incentivize workforce participation and target the benefits toward people who are struggling to make ends meet. Such incentives help families with much needed resources to overcome hardships they face such as having to make car and house repairs, paying off debts, or even buying new tires."

Zelalem Adefris, CEO of Catalyst Miami, said: “At Catalyst Miami, we build power with our community to advance justice and shared prosperity. Our mission is to ensure everyone can lead self-determined lives. We know that achieving this vision requires systemic transformation, which is why we are proud to support the Working Floridians Tax Rebate. Across Miami-Dade, this program would put $192 million back in people's pockets, providing a boost to over 400,000 eligible workers and families. This program is not just about immediate relief, but also creating firmer pathways to success for all of us.”

Decades of research from other states show that children in families that receive the EITC have higher math and reading test scores and are more likely to finish high school, obtain college degrees, and have higher wages. The WFTR  would help approximately 1.6 million households with children.

The coalition includes FPI, Catalyst Miami, Florida Rising, Hispanic Unity of Florida, the People’s Budget Florida, SEIU Florida, and UnidosUS.

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