BDN Letter to the Editor: Tax credits reduce poverty

Letter to the editor by MCA Board Member Margaret Leitch Copeland. Read the original letter published in the Bangor Daily News July 17, 2015. 

I applaud Gary Laweryson for his July 8 BDN OpEd, which highlighted how the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit boost the financial security of veterans and service members and their families. As a board member of the Maine Children’s Alliance, which is committed to improving the lives of Maine’s children and youth, I want to echo the importance of these credits for children in all working families that receive them.

At Maine Children’s Alliance, we know children’s health and well-being are compromised when families face challenges in providing for their needs. Good economic policy is good child policy. The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit encourage work and help families make ends meet, such as paying a child care provider or putting food on the table. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about 28,000 Mainers — including 14,000 children — are lifted above the poverty line each year because of these tax credits.

Research has shown that boosting the financial well-being of low-income families, which is exactly what these credits do, results in children who are healthier, do better in school and have higher earnings as adults. These credits are a long-term investment in children who will be more productive when they themselves are grown, giving their own children a better start.

Given the success in poverty reduction and work encouragement, our congressional delegation should be working to save these tax credits before key pieces of them expire.

Margaret Leitch Copeland

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