Throughout Utah, many working families struggle financially. Buying groceries, covering the rent and paying utility bills remain challenges for too many low-income households, particularly those with children. That's why a proposal to create a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is so important to and merits approval of the Utah Legislature. Such tax credits already exist in 24 states and provide critical help to households that work hard and play by the rules. Most EITC recipients claim the credit for only a year or two. Those of us who provide free tax-preparation assistance for low-income workers see the EITC's transformative power in helping people get back on their feet. An EITC reduces tax bills. It helps families hang onto a few more dollars to cover their basics.

The EITC helps families living on the edge avoid falling into poverty — a vital goal at a time when 1-in-6 Utah children lives in poverty conditions. Working families' well-being represents the very core of Utah's economic stability. EITC dollars are invested back into communities, bolstering local economies. Let's invest in strengthening our economy through strategies that research has demonstrated to be successful — including the establishment of a state EITC.

Paul Leggett, Executive Director of Community Action Partnership of Utah

Karen Crompton, President of Voices for Utah Children

Jean Hill, Government Liaison for Salt Lake Catholic Diocese

Salt Lake City