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Tax Day: Money Experts Examine Proposed California Earned Income Tax Credit

Tax Day: Money Experts Examine Proposed California Earned Income Tax Credit

On this Tax Day, financial experts talk about a number of proposals aimed at addressing income inequality.

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As San Diegans scramble to get their income taxes in before Wednesday night's deadline, others are rallying for higher wages or a state tax credit for low-income families.

The Fight $15 movement is a national strike by fast-food workers and other low-wage workers who want to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

At the state level, Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has proposed a version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. The bill would create a state credit of $406 to $602 for low-income families. At the federal level, parents earning $38,000 to $52,000 qualify for the tax credit.

Richard Barrera, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, said the federal income tax credit has been an effective tool in fighting poverty.

“Extending that to the state level is something we certainly want to support,” Barrera told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. “But the question is how do you pay for it? If we’re not paying for it with new revenue, then it’s coming out of schools, it’s coming out of state services.”

Erik Bruvold, president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research, said California’s tax system is volatile and needs an overhaul.

“One of the things we see is the state has these booms and busts in terms of revenue because of how much it relies on upper income (Californians),” Bruvold said. “We need to really rethink our state tax system and try to create one that is less onerous.”

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