Increase in earned income tax credit proposed

Taxpayers would see tax relief under a bill heard by the Revenue Committee Feb. 19.

LB956, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Danielle Conrad, would increase the state earned income tax credit from 10 to 13 percent of the federal credit. Conrad said more than 130,000 Nebraskans claimed the credit in 2013.

“The earned income tax credit is one of the most well-established and … effective anti-poverty tools,” she said. “It encourages the lowest income earners to work more hours, thus encouraging them to stay employed and support their families.”

The credit would become operative for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015.

Aubrey Mancuso of Voices for Children in Nebraska testified in support of the bill. She said almost one in six Nebraska taxpayers benefits from the earned income tax credit.

“Most of the families claiming the credit have a family income between $10,000 and $20,000 annually,” she said. “This would have a positive impact on children and families. It also would lead to an increase in student achievement as well as the child’s future earning potential as a working adult.”

Nebraska Catholic Conference Executive Director Jim Cunningham also supported the bill, saying it is “a proven, effective and socially just public policy that assists families that are often overlooked when fiscal policy is developed.”

No one testified in opposition to the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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