NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (April 15, 2019) — After a successful Hometown Kickoff in Newark on Saturday, where he argued that Americans can’t wait for justice, Senator Cory Booker will travel to Iowa today to unveil one plank of his plan to ensure economic justice in our country — a bold new tax-cut aimed at putting more money in the pockets of American families.
April 15 is Tax Day, the deadline for Americans to file their 2018 federal income-tax returns.
At a "Conversation with Cory" event in Sioux City — followed tomorrow by events in Carroll, Nevada, and Des Moines — Cory will propose the Rise Credit, the most dramatic expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in history.
“So many Americans find themselves with more month at the end of their money than money at the end of their month,” said Sen Booker. “Families’ earnings are not keeping up with the cost of living, and many people are living paycheck to paycheck with little to nothing left over to save.
“But instead of helping hard-working Americans who are struggling to get by, our tax-code concentrates benefits to those at the very top. It’s unconscionable that hedge-fund managers can pay a lower-percentage of their income in taxes than their secretaries. That’s wrong and must change. Creating a fairer, more just tax-code begins with putting money in the pockets of Americans who are struggling to get ahead.”
Under the Rise Credit, Cory proposes:
- Nearly doubling the income-eligibility at which people can receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, from a maximum of just over $54,000 to $90,000 for a married couple — scaling up the credit so it benefits more working and middle-class families.
- Increasing the maximum EITC credit amount by 25 percent — to about $8,000 per year for a married couple, or more than more than $650 per month — and making more families eligible for the biggest credit. Qualifying workers without children at home would receive the maximum individual-credit of $4,000 — nearly eight times what they get from the credit today.
- Expanding eligibility for the EITC beyond “traditional” work to include low-income students and family caregivers — because traditional wage-earners aren’t the only Americans who are working hard to support their families and find new avenues of opportunity.
- Broadening the age-qualifications for the EITC to make all working Americans age 18 and older eligible for the credit.
- Making the credit user-friendly and accessible through simplified, automatic filings will ensure everyone who earns the credit receives this help, and creating an option for more frequent payments throughout the year to help low-income people deal with their rising cost of living.
Combined with expansion of apprenticeship-programs, job-training, and capital-investment in underserved and vulnerable communities that help create new opportunities for Americans looking for work, the impact of these changes would be immense for American families.
The Tax Policy Center estimates that an expanded EITC like this would benefit about 154 million people — nearly half of all Americans.
All told, this plan would lift nearly 15 million people out of poverty, cutting poverty in our country by one-third. It would also boost the whole economy, building prosperity for all Americans.
Sen Booker would help fund the Rise Credit by ending the preferential-tax treatment of capital-gains investment-income that overwhelmingly favors the wealthiest Americans, because income from selling stocks and other investments should be taxed the same as income from work.