Detroiters Leave $80 Million on the Table During Tax Season

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, the United Way, and other organizations spread the word about the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Jake Neher/WDET

Detroit taxpayers leave up to $80 million unclaimed each year when they do their taxes. That’s just the money low-income families can claim through the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Now, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, the United Way, and other organizations are reaching out to those families to make sure they know about those credits.

“We wanted to make sure that… Detroiters have more access to the resources and the programs that are available to them,” says Lisa Howze, chief government affairs officer for the city of Detroit. 

Michigan’s version of the EITC has been a hot-button budget negotiating point during Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration, and was scaled back early in Snyder’s tenure.

Gilda Jacobs, executive director for the Michigan League for Public Policy, says ultimately the solution to lift people out of poverty is better paying jobs.

“We will never be able to make up for the hundreds of thousands of jobs that were lost” from the auto industry in southeast Michigan, says Jacobs. She says too many people are working several jobs that don’t pay well in order to make ends meet.

To hear more from Howze and Jacobs on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above. 


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