Parts of the Mountain West region have joined a number of state legislatures introducing tax credits to help low-income Americans. Utah could be the latest.
Utah’s earned income tax credit is being reintroduced in this week’s interim legislative session. It would be similar to programs in Montana and Colorado, and would focus on intergenerational poverty. The Utah legislature describes that as families and individuals who regularly rely on public assistance.
The tax credit would benefit an estimated 25,000 Utahns, who could claim 10 percent of what they get back from the federal earned income tax credit.
Rich Williams works with the National Council of State Legislatures. He said these state programs are meant to supplement federal tax credits for low-income Americans. Individuals could claim 10 percent of what they get back in the federal earned income tax credit.
“That’s generally one of the driving reasons to do it is [legislatures] feel like it puts money directly in the hands of people who need money the most,” Williams said.
The tax credit wouldn’t be huge. It would max out at an annual $600, but on average would be around $240.
If approved, Utah would be the 30th state with this kind of program.