Maryland House passes expanded tax refund for working poor

Erin Cox
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
The earned income tax credit would be expanded in Maryland under this bill passed by the House.

The House of Delegates passed a bill on Friday that would give a tax refund to more of the working poor.

The expansion of the Earned Income Tax credit, passed 133-5, continues small, planned increase in the amount of money working poor can collect. It also allows some younger people without children to apply for the credit, which is widely seen as one of the government's best tools for lifting people out of poverty.

Both legislative Democrats and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan have proposed an expansion of the credit. Policy experts consider the credit effective because it subsidizes low-paying jobs and gives a lump sum to people who would otherwise struggle to save that much.

The expansion approved by the House goes further than the plan pitched by the governor. A Senate committee approved an even larger expansion Thursday, and both chambers would need to settle on a compromise before sending it to Hogan. While the governor supports an expansion, he has been wary of spending more money than he proposed.

ecox@baltsun.com

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