The Maryland Senate voted Friday to extend a state tax credit for low-income workers to include immigrants, including those who live in the country illegally, who work in the state, and pay taxes in a measure that contributes to a this week, a broader initiative has already been taken to help with pandemics.
The move, now going to the House of Representatives, is a follow-up to more than $ 1 billion in relief passed last week with bipartisan and signed by Governor Larry Hogan on Monday.
The House added the provisions last week but withdrew them over opposition from the Republican governor. Democrats, who control the General Assembly, are now moving forward in separate legislation.
The measure sparked heated debate as it extends the state’s earned income tax credit for low-income residents to those using individual taxpayer numbers, rather than Social Security numbers. That includes immigrants who were in the country illegally, who were not listed on the original emergency.
The measure was passed 32-15, largely along party lines, with 31 Democrats and a Republican backing the bill and 14 Republicans and a Democrat opposing it.
Senator Justin Ready, a Carroll County Republican who voted against the bill, noted that the measure would cost about $ 60 million in each of the next three years, just as the Maryland General Assembly approved multiple tax increases last week.
“This is a very serious government policy step that we are taking,” said Ready. “We’re talking about taking taxpayers’ money from a taxpayer who is one of the most taxed in the country, and it’s about to get heavier.”
But supporters say the workers covered by the measure pay more than $ 100 million in taxes annually without qualifying for most tax credits or public assistance programs.
“They do the work that many Americans are happy to have graduated with, and these jobs are absolutely essential,” said Senator Delores Kelley, a Baltimore County Democrat. “Think of them as the essential workers, and then they still pay taxes on the little they get. But for the grace of God, we could all stand in their shoes.”
News4’s Darcy Spencer breaks the bill and has a fresh response to what this help could mean for local families.
The measure would affect between 60,000 and 80,000 people, in addition to the broader emergency measure already implemented.
The bill already signed into law includes immediate incentive payments of $ 300 to low-income individual tax holders and $ 500 to families.
It will also increase payments under the state’s EITC for this year and the next two years.
The expansion means that people who qualify for the Maryland tax credit will receive an average of about $ 1,100 per year, according to Robin McKinney, co-founder and CEO of Maryland’s CASH Campaign, which helps low-income residents collect taxes. to serve. McKinney described it as “a game-changer” for more than 400,000 qualified people. It would be a one-time payment.
“Imagine a household earning $ 15,000,” said McKinney. “This is going to be the biggest check they’ll get all year.”
The bill signed by Hogan on Monday helps small businesses by offering up to $ 9,000 in sales tax relief. It also repeals state and local income taxes on unemployment benefits and includes payments of $ 1,000 to people on unemployment claims in limbo.
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