Today is Veteran’s Day and our team here at the MBPC wants to thank the men and women who have served or continue to serve our country. One great way we can thank and support our veterans and military families here in Montana is to protect policies that ensure their financial security.
There are approximately 88,000 veterans and military service members that call Montana home. These men and women know the meaning of sacrifice. But too often they return home to face further challenges, like making ends meet for their families and translating their skills into good-paying jobs. Tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) help sustain working veterans and their families by boosting their income and making it possible to pay for things like housing expenses, utilities, transportation, and groceries.
In 2014, 12,000 veteran and military families received the EITC or the refundable portion of the CTC. These working family tax credits are one of the best solutions to keeping families from falling below the poverty line. These credits create a path toward a sustainable future by allowing them to work their way out of poverty and keep more of what they earn.
Unfortunately, unless Congress acts, up to 7,000 Montana families that currently receive these federal credits stand to lose all or a part of it 2017. For a single veteran with two kids who works full-time and earns minimum wage ($16,744 annually), he or she would stand to lose all or a portion of a $5,500 EITC. This loss of income could mean putting off car payments, forgoing utility or rent payments, or purchasing fewer groceries to make ends meet.
Right now, our elected officials have one of the best opportunities to ensure that key provisions of the EITC and CTC do not expire in 2017. We hope that Congress will stand up and support our veterans and military families by choosing to protect the working-family tax credits that ensure these families’ financial security. Military members should not have to return home and live in poverty. They’ve sacrificed enough for us, now let’s protect them and their families.
See the following to learn how Congress can protect veterans and military families: