2020-21 State Budget Deal: CalEITC Coalition Statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 22, 2020
California Advocates Praise Legislative Leaders on Earned Income Tax Credit Inclusion for Immigrant Workers with Young Children; Call for Urgent Full Inclusion
(Los Angeles, CA) – California’s Legislature took a stand for children today by insisting the final state budget deal agreed upon with Governor Newsom includes filers who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and have children under 6 in the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC). During a time of budget deficits, this win was hard-fought for immigrant workers and families who too often are excluded from the most basic public support.
Today the CalEITC Advocacy Coalition recognizes the work of so many leaders critical to ensuring this milestone was reached, including community voices, Legislative Budget Leadership, Legislative Caucuses, big-city Mayors, and economic experts. This partial inclusion will reach approximately 32,000 to 46,000 immigrant tax filers and their families – families who are bearing a disproportionate share of COVID-19-related job losses. We cannot overstate the impact that expanding the most powerful poverty-fighting tool will have for families with young children who for too long have been working and paying into a tax system that discriminates against them, simply for the number they use to file taxes.
Unfortunately, this partial expansion, while critical, still leaves out a vast majority of ITIN filers, including 178,000 children. As families with immigrant workers face the harshest economic reality of COVD-19 pandemic related job losses, our state is still settling for incremental economic equity. Families who are still excluded from CalEITC will continue to struggle to pay for basic needs, despite working and earning the same amount as their peers with Social Security Numbers. They will continue to face deepening concerns about keeping a roof over their heads, despite being endlessly “thanked” and deemed “essential.” Disparities will continue to grow, even though the tax policy fix is simple, the cost is minimal, and the return on investment is unequivocal.
Holding a Social Security Number is not a prerequisite for paying the rent, buying food and medicine, or shopping for back-to-school supplies and clothing for growing children. Economic recovery won’t happen overnight for our state, but keeping ITIN filers excluded from CalEITC will only slow our collective ability to come back stronger than before. It continues an inequitable system that by its very design holds back workers who would otherwise be able to meet basic needs and make greater investments in their families and local economies.
As we grapple with the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, full CalEITC inclusion should be at the top of every legislator’s list for the next phase of our state budget process. We will not pat ourselves on the back when thousands will continue to be left out. As we work together to imagine a state that works for all, we expect the Legislature and the Governor to ensure we make the CalEITC for all.