WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an expansive tax package that will make permanent improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) enacted in 2009. Together, the EITC and CTC help to dramatically reduce poverty levels for Latino families each year. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds lawmakers for their efforts to make sure that hardworking low-income families can get needed tax relief. Alone, these changes would represent a laudable win for the Latino community; however, some lawmakers in Congress were still determined to use this opportunity to target immigrants and included restrictive language in the agreement that NCLR doesn’t support.
“The expansions to the EITC and CTC in 2009 have since helped millions of working families make ends meet. Congress making these expansions permanent now is an important step for our community. We are pleased that lawmakers recognized the proven success of both anti-poverty programs and chose to act,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “Investing in measures that reward hard work is the key to building a healthier, more robust workforce that can strengthen our economy.”
The EITC amounts to as much as $6,143 per family, while the CTC can add up to $1,000 per child. Only people who are working are eligible for these programs, which are especially valuable for Latino workers, more than 40 percent of whom earn poverty-level wages.
Congressional action on the EITC and CTC is a result of the hard work and commitment of NCLR Affiliates and partner organizations in the business and progressive communities. Following countless letters, local events, op-eds, and a national poll, lawmakers responded to the advocacy efforts of Latinos across the country, who showed overwhelming support (91 percent) for making improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent without delay.
Unfortunately, some lawmakers cannot pass up an opportunity to attach anti-immigrant language to any measure and did so once again. The agreement will single out immigrant taxpayers specifically and bar millions who receive a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from accessing these vital tax credits in the future. Additionally, it will create potentially significant barriers for immigrants who file taxes using an ITIN.
“The House of Representatives took an important step today and millions of American working families will benefit. We are thankful for that. But Congress has once again singled out immigrant families for restrictions in legislation that has nothing to do with immigration policy. We cannot allow our community to continue to be targeted this way,” Murguía added.
Looking ahead, NCLR is committed to working with Congress and the administration to make sure that these restrictions do not harm children that tax credits do not lose their value due to inflation, and that childless low-wage workers may benefit in the future.
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A senior Pennsylvania state senator faces allegations he violated rules of professional conduct for lawyers while working for a Utah-based company that helps find heirs to people who died without leaving a will. Continue reading
Mexican 2012 Presidential Elections Challenged
Among allegations of vote-buying and fraud, the Mexican electoral system or (IFE), confirmed Enrique Peña Nieto, as the winner of the Mexican presidential elections; after a recount of 54% of the total votes. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit came to conclusion that Arizona’s controversial immigration legislation, Senate Bill (S.B.) 1070, was determined to be mostly unlawful following a 5 to 3 vote —which excluded Justice Kagen out of the 9 members— ruled in the case Arizona v. United States.
California — As voters received their absentee ballots for the 2012 primary election, the California’s 13th Assembly District voters also received a negative campaign mailer by JobsPAC —a mailer that made Xochilt Raya Paredes reconsider her candidacy. Continue reading
(Stockton, CA) – The City of Stockton has selected a new director to head its Community Development Department. Steve Chase, Director of Planning and Environment Services with the City of Goleta, will join the City of Stockton in July as the chief official of building, planning and development. Continue reading
STOCKTON, CA— “We have to change the way we run this city; we need to change the structure of how we do things,” remarked Mayor of Stockton Ann Johnston at the 2012 State of the City. She highlighted, “We know that a band aide approach will not solve this… We have to do radical surgery to this patient —in that general fund.”
The city’s gloomy finances, a budget deficit, and sky rocketing crime shadow the city’s sunny days and in her State of the City Address, Mayor Johnston gave a detail account of the past, present and hopeful future for Stockton.
How did we get here?
Johnson explained the unsustainable retiree benefits costing 417 million dollars, the large bond debt of 319 million for infrastructure projects like local community, fire houses, the ball park and the arena that we are still paying on today. Generous labor contracts and State raids on City finances such as the removal of vehicle license fees and removal of the Redevelopment agency that she says helped to transform Stockton’s waterfront. The Prior council made mistakes and mismanaged funds without any back-up plan for a rainy day. The Valley continued deeper into its own recession beyond that of the country with extreme unemployment, foreclosures and housing market collapse (from 3,000 home built in 2007 to only 150 in 2011) with the next year’s budget looking just as gloomy.
Whats the problem?
The total budget for the city is 520 million, however only 125 million is accessible and in crisis. The 366 million that is left behind is in restricted funds for things like sewage, water, and measure k that cannot be touched. Past city councils tried to move some of the 366 million to the general to cover things like police, community centers and library’s but the city was sued and lost. With a little more than a month left, the council has until July 1st, 2012 to pass a balanced budget.
What is our current situation?
The city must pass a balanced budget; the city cannot print money or borrow. The city is required by the state and city charter to balance. Only three options, to tax, to cut, or to negotiate however, the taxes that the city would have to pay to get out of this debt would be unconscionable, the city has already cut the budget by 90 million and cannot cut any further without jeopardizing the safety of its residence, so Johnson says “We have to change the way we run this city we need to change the structure ,” by negotiating with debtors in a process called AB506, a new law, Stockton is one of two cities in the State (Mammouth Lakes is the other) that will be going through this process.
STOCKTON, CA – “We have an increase in crime. We have had an increase in violent crimes; most of it a result of lifestyle choices like prostitution, gangs and drugs but the city says they remain committed,” said Mayor Ann Johnson at the State of the City address early this month at the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce annual event at the Stockton Port, “We remain committed to cracking down on the criminals that are terrorizing our citizens.”
Johnston explained that the city is presently working on the following:
The Silver Lining
Johnson Said that it was not all bad. The city is overhauling the Community Development Department to make it easier to do business, and that over 100 people are taking out business licenses a month that want to do business here. The city is working with Public Works to create the delta water supply project – a 200 million project which will bring us a reliable water source.
“Many would be envious of the water we have,”added Johnson. The city has also partnered to create a coalition to fight the state to take Delta water, to save the delta adding that it would be an “Economic disastaster should anything take our water around the delta instead of through our delta.”
Johnston continued, “The city will continue with infrustruture for restricted funds, infrastructure like the I-5 interchange project that seeks to connect 99 to bring in more business to the south side of Stockton,”
The State has invested in a prison Hospital in Stockton, with a 50% local hire requirement the state will bring 2400 employees on board in 2013.
The port, as reported by the Port Commissioner, is an international point of commerce, it is the only port on the west coast that is exporting more than importing- a good economic sign.
EDITORS NOTE: Earlier this year, Investigative Reporter Deanna Lynn Wulff discovered the Peripheral Canal‘s 12 Billion dollar projection may be closer to 40 billion.
SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Bill Berryhill announced April 24, 2012 that the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife passed out two common sense water measures, Assembly Bills 2421 and 2422.
AB 2421 requires that an independent third party Cost/Benefit analysis must be completed on any plan that is submitted as part of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). Many in the Delta have strongly expressed skepticism to the BDCP’s ability to achieve the co-equal goals that were mandated by the Legislature in 2009. Nearly all of the options being studied, including a tunnel that could divert the entire Sacramento River around the Delta, will have a significant financial burden on California. Continue reading