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Earned Income Tax Credit


Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Jan 26

Study: Low-Income Illinoisans Hit Hard Under State's Tax System

Low-income Illinoisans have the third-highest state and local tax burden in the nation, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children.

The study, which examined the distribution of all major state and local taxes by income group in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, showed that the poorest Illinois residents currently pay almost three times more in taxes as a percent of their income compared to the richest Illinoisans.

Illinois' effective tax rates by income group are 13.2 percent for those in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale, 10.8 percent for the middle 20 percent and 4.6 percent for the top 1 percent, according to the study.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Sep 11, 2014

Report: Right-To-Work Laws Strain Public Budgets & Would 'Weaken' Illinois' Economy

Workers in collective-bargaining states "are subsidizing the low-wage model of employment" in states with so-called right-to-work laws that limit union power.

That's one of the key takeaways from a new report by researchers at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Labor and Employment Relations.

“Our study found that right-to-work laws weaken state economies and strain public budgets,” said the report's co-author Bob Bruno, a labor professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Right-to-work laws not only sap government revenue in the form of reduced tax receipts, but they also increase government spending in outlays for food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon May 5, 2014

Report: 40 percent Of Low-Income Working Families In Illinois Headed By Women

A recent report shows that women headed up 40 percent of Illinois' more than 404,100 low-income working families in 2012.

Nationwide, women were the main providers for 4.1 million low-income working families in 2012, with 163,341 of those households being in Illinois, according to the report from the Working Poor Families Project, a national initiative focused on strengthening state-level policies to help working families attain economic security.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Jan 9, 2014

Report Highlights SNAP Reform Proposals Meant To Reduce Hunger, Promote Nutrition

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a crucial anti-hunger and anti-poverty tool, but a handful of reforms are needed to boost the program's overall effectiveness, argues Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, an associate professor at Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy.

About one in eight U.S. families depend on SNAP benefits, at about $1.40 per meal, for food aid. More than 2 million people in Illinois rely on the $80-billion-a-year program, which has helped to reduce hunger and rates of food insecurity in the country, while also providing support to families who face unexpected economic setbacks.

In a recent discussion paper for the Hamilton Project, Schanzenbach noted that despite the program's successes, obesity rates in the nation are still high, the method of determining food aid benefits is outdated and SNAP coverage during economic recessions needs to be improved.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Dec 9, 2013

New Report Provides Snapshot Of 'Struggling Lower-Middle Class'

More than half of the nation's working-age families with children earn $60,000 or less a year, according to a new report from the Hamilton Project that provides a snapshot of America's "struggling lower-middle class."

Out of those more than 20 million families, about 40 percent have annual incomes at or below $40,000 and a shocking 15 percent, or 5.6 million families, earn between $1 to $20,000 a year, the report showed. The majority of today's families, 76 percent, have annual incomes at $100,000 or less, while "fewer than 3 percent of families earn more than $260,000," according to the report.

The report found that 49 percent of working-age families with children have incomes below 250 percent of the 2012 federal poverty level, or $58,208 for a two-parent family with two children.

About 30 percent of families live between that 250 percent threshold and the official poverty line, which stood at $23,283 in 2012 for a two-parent family with two kids. As such, these families are considered to be the "struggling lower-middle class," the report reads, because their "proximity to the poverty line means that any unanticipated downturns in income could push them into poverty."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Oct 25, 2013

Study: Boosting Unionization Would Help Combat Income Inequality In Illinois

Although Illinois’ economy is “tepidly growing,” workers in the state are still worse off than before the recession, labor experts at the University of Illinois say.

At 9.2 percent, Illinois’ unemployment rate is still higher than pre-recession levels, and the state’s labor-force participation rate is on the decline, according to the experts' report “The State of Working Illinois 2013: Labor in the Land of Lincoln.”

Overall, wages have been sluggish for most workers since the turn of the millennium, yet the top 1 percent in Illinois earned at least 635 percent more than the median employed worker each year. All of this has taken place as a growing number of people in Illinois have plummeted into poverty. The percentage of those living below the poverty line shot up significantly from 7.8 percent in 2000 to 12.7 percent in 2012, according to the report.

The study’s authors noted that the decline in unionization is a key reason why the state has experienced such high levels of income inequality, which can stifle economic growth. The report suggests that increasing unionization would not only be a win for workers but also for economic growth in the state.