Sherrod Brown And Senate Dems Propose Expanding Earned Income Tax Credit

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks with supporters after a speech in Brunswick January 2019.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown speaks with supporters after a speech in Brunswick January 2019. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and other Senate Democrats have introduced new legislation called the Working Families Tax Relief Act that would expand a tax credit for low- and middle-income individuals and families.

The bill aims to broaden the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which allows qualifying workers to claim a bigger refund. Depending on who’s filing, and whether they have kids, the credit can be worth a maximum of $529 for an individual with no children to $6,557 for an individual with three or more qualifying children. 

Brown says it’s a good idea that could be better. 

“There are still a lot of people left out,” said Brown, during a news conference on Wednesday announcing the bill. “If you’re 22-years-old, and you’re single, you get taxed into poverty. And we wanted to fix that.”

The bill calls for lowering the minimum age to qualify for the EITC from 25 to 19 and increasing the credit for workers with children by about 25 percent.

Brown didn’t say how the measure would be paid for. 

“We don’t have a cost estimate for it,” he said. “The cost of poverty is higher than whatever this will cost to provide opportunity for families, particularly the lowest income families with children.”

Other sponsors of the bill include Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ron Wyden Wyden (D-OR). So far, 44 senators have signed on to the bill, though none of the sponsors are Republican.

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