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State Aims to Get Ohioans the “Credits” They Have Coming at Tax Time

February 13, 2008

Columbus, OH – Each year at tax time, many Ohioans fail to get the credits they are due. The state of Ohio and non-profit groups are teaming up to spread the word about the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits for low- and moderate-income residents, which can amount to more than four thousand dollars for many families.

Governor Ted Strickland says Ohioans can use the "Ohio Benefit Bank" to find out if they're eligible for tax credits, and get free tax preparation assistance and other public services such as food stamps, veterans' benefits, and heating assistance.

"The Benefit Bank can take the information about the individual or the family, and very, very quickly then reveal the programs and the benefits that they should be able to gain access to."

Jason Elchert with the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, one of the groups working on the Benefit Bank, says Ohio misses out on more than $1.6 billion in benefits each year, including food stamps, tax credits, and other help – and that could make a big difference for the state's economy.

"So when we put tax credits and work support programs into the hands of low- and moderate-income consumers, those are all going right back into our local economy."

The Ohio Benefit Bank is on line at www.obb.ohio.gov.

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - OH