Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Tulsa, OK - Mayor M. Susan Savage

Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign

The Earned Income Tax Credit was created to reduce the tax burden on the nation's low-wage workers, to supplement their wages, and to make work more attractive than welfare. To maximize the impact of EITC as part of their overall effort to decrease poverty and expand economic development in Tulsa, the City and the Community Action Agency of Tulsa launched a tax awareness campaign for low-income workers. The goal is to increase the participation rate and use of the EITC by eligible low- and moderate-income working people.

The Campaign was designed to boost income from low-wage work, as many low-wage workers fail to receive the EITC and derive its intended benefits which they have earned. Many do not understand that EITC eligibility is extended to those whose incomes are so low that they owe no federal income tax. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that up to 25 percent of eligible low-wage workers fail to receive the credit simply because they do not know about it or fail to file properly for it.

More than 90 percent of the low-income population receiving the EITC uses the additional money to pay for household goods and services - basic living expenses. Research indicates that low-income households tend to shop at local retail establishments, supporting the local economy. Promotion of the EITC, therefore, is seen as generating substantial additional economic activity - and jobs associated with that activity - which is targeted to the distressed communities where it is most needed.

The Community Action Agency received $75,000 in CDBG funding for this year's Campaign and, using it, was able to serve 7,241 clients by providing free tax preparation. This produced well over $7.5 million for clients in this period. Each year, officials say, it is a bigger success.

Contact: Roy E. Marshall, Manager, Community Services, (918) 596-2600

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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