A key tax credit for working class families is about to expire. Some lawmakers want it extended

A new bill proposes to extend the credit another 6 years, which would allow Hawaii's poorest families to qualify for better benefits.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 5:09 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State lawmakers and advocates for the working class on Monday urged the Hawaii Legislature to extend a key tax credit for the poor.

The Hawaii Earned Income Tax Credit is set to expire at the end of the year. A new bill proposes to extend the credit for another six years.

It also will allow Hawaii’s poorest families who don’t earn enough money to qualify for more benefits under the credit.

“The tax credit will go a long way to especially helping single mothers with children and that’s why for women it’s ... important,” said state Rep. Sylvia Luke.

Chassiday Kruse was among the thousand who have benefited from the credit.

Last year, the Ewa Beach resident was forced to go on workers compensation for four months due to an injury. Her daughter’s father also lost his job due to COVID.

“It became overwhelming — stressful — to cover our monthly expenses, such as childcare utilities and food,” she said.

But thanks to the tax credit, she was able to get back $2,300 back from the government.

“I felt excited to get $2,300 that I could use to catch up on my bills, buy my daughter new fitting clothes and pay for soccer fees,” said Kruse.

State Rep. Jeanne Kapela said her support for the measure comes from personal experience.

“I grew up in an incredibly and extremely low income household. I know exactly what it’s like to not know where you’re next meal is going to come from,” she said.

“The creation of a refundable EITC might mean the difference between keeping ... children fed.”

The bill next goes the Senate floor for a full vote.

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