Lawmakers should extend the working income tax credit and make it refundable

State lawmakers are expected to approve a measure that would extend a tax credit for lower- and middle-class families.

House Bill 510 would not only extend the state earned income tax credit for another six years, but also make it refundable.

Proponents and advocates of the proposal held a rally Monday morning at the Hawaii State Capitol.

“Under a non-refundable earned income tax credit, households are simply allowed to reduce their tax payable, or the taxes they owe, and they are not able to actually access that increased income supplement on their tax returns, which makes it incredibly important that we decide to make this credit both refundable and permanent – so that working families can access this economic lifeline year after year and not having to worry about his disappearance,” said Will White, Hawaii Budget Director and Policy Center.

“As most people here in Hawaii know, we have one of the highest costs of living in the country,” White said. “This is a perfect opportunity for the Legislature to stand up for working families and recognize that people are going to need help paying rent, they’re going to need help putting food on the table. They’re definitely going to need help getting gas in the tank so they can get to work.”

HB510 passed its second reading last week and will be scheduled for a third and final reading in the Senate.