Giving Compass’ Take:
• Sabine Schoenbach and Gridhar Mallya explain how Earned Income Tax Credit can guide us in an equity-based, cross-sector response to the effects of COVID-19.
• Why is a collaborative approach across sectors essential in addressing the impact of coronavirus? Are you prepared to support research on and implementation of Earned Income Tax Credit policies during COVID-19?
Three years ago, the EITC Funders Network started more deeply exploring the growing body of research on the intersections between the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and health outcomes. This research became a foundation for fostering cross-sector discussions and collaborations to promote both economic opportunity and health equity.
As policymakers and advocates work to mitigate the unprecedented health and economic impacts of COVID-19, the EITC is getting increased attention as a person-centered policy that boosts essential workers’ wages, reduces poverty, and improves short- and long-term health outcomes.
Health, income, and wealth are inextricably linked. Therefore, it is critical for health funders to be engaged in work that promotes the financial health of individuals and communities. Often, this manifests as investments in expanding access to health insurance, which is an essential protection against medical debt, or bolstering food and housing supports. But now is the time to go further upstream to tax policy.
While the federal tax system is relatively progressive—with higher income people paying more than lower income people—state and local tax systems are regressive. This means that people already struggling financially may be taxed further into poverty as a means of paying for vital services like education and health care.
This is where the EITC comes in. It effectively puts money back in the pocket of low- and moderate-income workers, even those with no federal income tax obligations. Decades of research demonstrate that the EITC is one of the most effective anti-poverty policies, increasing take-home income and promoting labor market entry and increasing workforce participation.
Read the full article about Earned Income Tax Credit with Sabine Schoenbach and Gridhar Mallya at Grantmakers in Health.
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