Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Making Work Pay: Another Successful Effort

Today, I was thrilled to meet and thank the volunteers who make our regional "Make Work Pay" effort such a success.

As I explained at the beginning of the tax season, this is a free tax preparation program that boosts working families by helping them apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit. For many, this provides the boost that lifts them out of poverty (while avoiding the fees and high interest payments they have to pay through a private tax preparer).

The key to the program are the hundreds of volunteers who sit down with citizens and walk them through the tax filing process. Today we recognized them and thanked them for their work.

At the same time, we got the first preliminary results from the season--and they were strong.

Last year, not including the one-time "checks" sent out from the first stimulus legislation in early 2008, Hamilton County's effort brought in $5,577,496 in tax refunds--including $2,486,050 in EITC refunds.

This year, that number jumped considerably--to $6,788,605, including $2,632,838 in EITC refunds. These refunds went to 4,826 total individuals.

This is almost $7M brought into the local economy through a voluntary effort. And in this tough economic time, this boost--along with the savings from our prescription drug discount program and other efforts--puts real money in our families' pockets.

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