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Illinois Looks at “Economic Stimulus” at the Local Level

January 28, 2008

Chicago, IL – Family advocates in Illinois are urging action by the State Legislature to finish up work on a measure to increase the state's Earned Income Tax Credit during the current tax filing season, to supplement the national economic stimulus package now before Congress.

Jerry Stermer, president of Voices for Illinois Children, says as Washington, D.C., works on the national measure aimed at getting more money into circulation by putting it in the hands of people who will spend it quickly, there's a role for Illinois to play, too. He says the measure before Illinois lawmakers to increase the state credit could bring extra cash into the local economy, which would benefit businesses as well as working families.

"We think this is a perfect device to match the initiative from the federal government here at the local level."

Stermer explains working families earning less than $40,000 a year would be able to keep more of their money under the state tax credit plan. Those are families, he adds, that usually have long "shopping lists" for such things as home repairs, or even a new car.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit zeroes in on the working families who will get the money out the door most quickly."

Opponents of an increase in the state credit are concerned about losing state tax revenue in what is expected to be a tough budget year. The Illinois Senate has already passed the measure, but the House has not yet acted on it.

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - IL