Increased tax relief is on the way for working families in Illinois. A bill signed into law Tuesday increases the Earned Income Tax Credit, which means on average for Illinois families an extra $100 per year. About 900,000 Illinois families qualify for the credit.
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State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) sponsored the bill. She says there are two values to the EITC. “First it rewards work,” Currie said. “It says to families, low-income families, stay on the job, we’re not going to make your life more difficult. And second, it helps those families keep a roof over the head and food on the table. I cannot imagine a fairer tax polity then that.” The tax credit is also thought to have a positive impact on the economy. “It’s a highly effective and proven means of assisting working families,” says Rob Karr, senior vice president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which backed the bill. “It ripples throughout the economy and helps the entire State of Illinois and everyone involved.” State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields), also a sponsor of the legislation, says the law sends a message to working families that lawmakers are listening. “We heard you, we’re listening and this is just the beginning,” Hutchinson said. The EITC increase was companion legislation to tax breaks for businesses which was earlier signed into law.