Why Make the Oregon Working Family and Earned Income Credits Refundable?

Report
December 11, 1998 Download PDF

In 1997 the Oregon State Legislature created two new tax credits aimed at providing child care relief and tax relief to the working poor: the Working Family Credit (WFC) and the Earned Income Credit (EIC). In the original legislation both credits were to take effect in the 1999-2001 biennium and both were, like the Federal EIC, refundable -- that is, if a family's credit(s) exceeds the amount of taxes they owe, they would receive the excess as a refund. The legislature subsequently chose to make both credits take effect two years earlier in 1997, making them part of the budget debate. To alleviate the immediate revenue impact, both credits were made nonrefundable. That is, if a family's total tax credits exceed the total tax owed, the excess is lost. The lowest income families lose out on receiving the full benefit of the credits.

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Why Make the Oregon Working Family and Earned Income Credits Refundable? (PDF)