State of New Jersey Office of the Governor

Governor Corzine Visits Free Tax Center To Raise Awareness Of State And Federal Earned Income Tax Credit

State of New Jersey Office of the Governor — Monday, March 5, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Anthony Coley — Brendan Gilfillan
PHONE: 609-777-2600

TRENTON — Governor Jon S. Corzine today visited New Jersey Citizen Action's free tax preparation clinic in Newark to highlight the proposed expansion of the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that will benefit nearly 300,000 low income New Jersey families. The EITC is a targeted income tax benefit that helps low-income working families earn their way out of poverty and into self-sufficiency by lessening the burden of payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.

"I believe that we have an obligation to help people lift themselves out of poverty – especially those who are working full-time, taking care of their children, and running a household," Corzine said. "While these proposed expansions will not begin until next year, I encourage all eligible families to apply for the available state and federal credits when they file their taxes this year."

Currently the New Jersey's EITC is only available to families earning $20,000 or less annually. Next year, under the Governor's proposed expansion, the credit will be available to approximately 292,600 additional low-income workers. Under the new limits a married family with two or more children earning less than $39,783 or a single head of household with two or more children earning less than $37,783 will be eligible for the credit. These levels will be adjusted annually for inflation. Additionally, workers without children will be eligible to receive state EITC benefits for the first time.

This expansion would be the first step in a three step commitment to low-income workers. The second and third steps, to be implemented in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010, are to raise the state EITC benefit level. A family's credit under the state EITC is equal to 20 percent of their federal credit. For example, if a family receives a $1000 federal credit, their state credit will be $200. The Governor's plan would raise the benefit level from 20 percent of the federal credit to 22.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2009, and from 22.5 percent to 25 percent in fiscal 2010.

Residents looking for help preparing their taxes or applying for state and federal EITC benefits can contact New Jersey Citizen Action for free tax filing services and tax advice. They can be reached toll free at 1-888-TAXES11 or online at www.njcitizenaction.org/eitc.html. Residents can also visit Citizen Action's free tax preparation center at 24 Clinton Street in Newark from 11 AM to 8 PM Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 9 AM to 4 PM Saturday. No appointment is necessary.

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Copyright 2007 State of New Jersey

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