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Stats: Low Income Tax Cuts Help WV Families

September 29, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As Congress debates which parts of the Bush tax cuts to extend, West Virginia advocates say income numbers argue for the low-end tax cuts while letting the high-end expire. New national figures from the U.S. Census show the largest gap between the rich and poor ever recorded, and 300,000 West Virginians below the poverty line.

Calah Young with the West Virginia Alliance For Sustainable Families says losing the low-end tax credits would hurt that group.

"The child tax credit alone would cost 31 million families an average of over a thousand dollars. And that's a significant hit when they don't make that much money to begin with."

By comparison, Young says the tax cuts for those making more than a quarter-million dollars a year mean less to those who would get them. Only eight-tenths of one percent of the state's households have incomes that high.

Republicans in Congress want to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy, saying it would be trickle-down stimulus for the economy. But Young says the economy gets far more of a boost from policies that help the working poor.

"Dollar for dollar, three times as much of an impact for things like expanding unemployment benefits or job creation at the state level."

The president has said Congress should let the high-end tax cuts expire to reduce the deficit.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV