Thanksgiving is when, as a nation, we give thanks for the important blessings in our lives. For many, that likely includes family, good health, a decent job, and the like. And we should be thankful if we enjoy any or all of those things.
For some in our society, however, working hard doesn’t always produce enough income to make ends meet. And many rural and small town Americans depend on something that the rest of us don’t likely think about that often, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), to help get through some of the tough times.
The EITC is a credit against federal personal income taxes for working people who have low to moderate income, particularly those with children. The Census Bureau estimates that in 2012 the EITC kept an additional 5.4 million Americans, including 3 million children, above the official poverty line.
A recent Center for Rural Affairs report (http://www.cfra.org/news/141107/impact-earned-income-tax-credit-rural-pe...) found that the EITC has become a rural program, vital to rural people and their well-being and important to the economies of the small towns they live in. Over one in five rural Americans claimed the ETIC, a greater percentage than among our urban neighbors.
Being thankful for the EITC may seem odd to those who have never used it, but to one out of every five of my rural and small town neighbors, it has made all the difference, and for that I am truly thankful.
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