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San Diego Economy Earns More Through Earned Income Tax Credits Than From Comic-Con

Audio

Aired 8/3/10

Helping low income families to apply for federal tax credits could bring an extra $78 million a year into the region, according to a new study by National University’s Institute for Policy Research.

Helping low income families to apply for federal tax credits could bring an extra $78 million a year into the region, according to a new study by National University’s Institute for Policy Research.

One in five people living in San Diego could benefit from federal earned income tax credits. But Vince Vasquez, who did the study, says one in four families that qualify either don’t know about the credit, or don’t know how to apply for it.

He says those that do bring more than $300 million into the San Diego economy though tax refund checks from the federal government. He says the County and some nonprofits have done outreach to help more people apply, and the City of San Diego could stimulate its economy by doing that as well.

"Considering that some of these grants, like the FEMA grants, take years to apply and to hear back," he said, "why not inject money into the economy and put it in the pockets of those who need it?"

Vasquez says 80 percent of the money gets spent locally on things like car repairs, grocery stores and restaurants.

He says the overall economic impact of putting this money in the pockets of the poor is three times more than the direct economic impact of Comic-Con.

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