April 15, 2019

More than 3 Million Households, 2.9 Million Children in Florida Would Benefit Under New Proposal

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

The Working Families Tax Relief Act would strengthen and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and boost the Child Tax Credit

ORLANDO – Federal legislation introduced today by Senators Sherrod Brown, Michael Bennet and Dick Durbin would help working people with low-wage jobs make ends meet and support themselves and their families.

The Working Families Tax Relief Act (WFTRA) would help more than 3 million families and 7.3 million individuals in Florida become more financially secure, and it would benefit more than 2.9 million children in the Sunshine State, according to an analysis by the D.C.-based, nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Specifically, the WFTRA would:

  • Strengthen the highly successful Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families with children;
  • Expand the EITC for working people without children;
  • Ensure that millions of poor children aren’t left out of the Child Tax Credit (CTC); and
  • Boost the CTC for families with very young children.

“The growth of low-wage jobs, along with relatively stagnant wages and rising costs of living, means that more and more working families are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table,” said Sadaf Knight, CEO of the nonpartisan Florida Policy Institute. “The Working Families Tax Relief Act would provide a much-needed boost to low- and middle-income Floridians.”

The proposal stands in stark contrast to the 2017 tax law, which was heavily tilted in favor of corporations and wealthy residents.  For example, a single mom of two earning $20,000 a year would get a $3,700 boost to her income under the new proposal. And, a married couple with two young kids making $45,000 a year would get a $3,500 boost.

For working families, this would mean more money for basic necessities, home repairs, maintaining a car to get to work, or in some cases, additional education or training to get a better, higher-paying job.

Nationally, the WFTRA would cut child poverty by 28 percent, lifting 3.1 million children out of poverty.

“The income boost provided to working families under this proposal would be particularly beneficial for Florida children, as one out of five children in our state are living below the federal poverty level,” added Knight. “When a child’s family receives a working family tax credit, they are more likely to attend college, which in turn helps the economy. This legislation would be a step forward for all of Florida.”

The Florida Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.

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