Faith Leaders Urge Congress to Support Tax Credits that Help Low-Income Californians Lift Themselves out of Poverty
Los Angeles, April 17, 2012
Bread for the World and California faith and community leaders came together today to highlight the importance of tax credits for low-income families, and to urge Congress to support programs that help poor and hungry Californians.
“Tax Day is an appropriate time for our nation’s leaders to create a circle of protection around federal programs that are crucial to the least among us,” said David Gist, Bread for the World California regional organizer. “Tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) help poor working families lift themselves out of poverty.”
The EITC and CTC encourage work. Parents with two children who work just 10 hours a week at a minimum-wage job receive less than $100 through the CTC, but if they work full-time, they receive a credit of about $1,800. A majority of EITC recipients only receive the benefit for one or two years before moving into higher-income brackets. In 2008, more than 2.6 million California households claimed the EITC, and more than 2.3 million claimed the refundable portion of the CTC.
The Tax Day event is a show of solidarity between California’s community leaders and Bread for the World. Faith leaders who participated in the event include Rev. Walter Contreras, coordinator of Hispanic Ministries, Evangelical Covenant Church; Rev. Rene Molina, senior pastor of Iglesias de Restauración; Bishop James Walker, presiding prelate, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; and Ms. Hyepin C. Im, president of Korean Churches for Community Development.
“Beyond the moral obligations of serving and protecting the ‘least among us,’ we all have a vested interest in providing hope to everyone,” said Im. “When we take away access to the basic provisions, the fabric of our society becomes at risk. People despair and lose hope.”
“One in six people in Los Angeles County will go hungry today,” added Gist. “Today, on Tax Day, Congress moves forward with plans to cut programs that help hungry people—programs that people here in LA depend on, We must let our elected officials know that hungry people among us matter.”
Bread for the World recently launched its 2012 Offering of Letters campaign, which urges members of Congress to create a circle of protection around programs that give hungry and poor people the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Within this broader campaign are four mini-campaigns that address specific legislative topics: domestic nutrition, poverty-focused foreign assistance, tax policy, and international food aid.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Acting Manager for Media Relations, 202-688-1118