02/12/07
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday

Congresswoman Kathy Castor visited East Tampa this morning to bring attention to low and middle income residents in the Tampa Bay area to find out if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. (roll tape#1 o.q.”collaborative way”)

 

Congress approved the Earned Income Tax Credit in 1975, in part , to offset the burden of social security taxes, and to provide an incentive for people to go to work.

 

But it’s an often overlooked credit, with people who don’t make much money believing that they could never be eligible for tax relief.

 

Congresswoman Castor  was joined by officials from Hillsborough County and with the Prosperity Campaign of Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.  The Prosperity Campaign, created 3 years ago, is a regional collaboration of public,. Private, and nonprofit groups that will work with citizens to prepare- for free - their tax returns.

 

Dave Rogoff is the director of the Hillsborough County Department of Health & Social Services.  He says its easy for people to find out if they qualify to a tax credit (roll tape#2 o.q.”preparations done”)

In fact, there are over 50 facilities in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties that will prepare tax returns for those citizens who call the 2-1-1 number, with 19 alone in Tampa. 

 

Debra Faulk is with The Prosperity Campaign.  She says that a man or woman who has 2 or more dependent children and whose household income is $38,000 or less, can qualify

(roll tape#3 o.q.”might get back”)

 

At the Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center in East Tampa, volunteers, like Terry Bransons   have been recruited to assist citizens in preparing their tax forms.   Bransons and the man he was helping said the process is relatively painless (roll tape#4 o.q.”laughter”)

 

To learn if you might be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, call 2-1-1, or go to the web at uwtb.org/prosperity campaign.

  

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