Montgomery County Council Debates Raising Local Supplement of Earned Income Tax Credit

As reported by the Washington Post, legislation being debated by the Montgomery County Council to increase the local supplement of the Earned Income Tax Credit has created a stir among its members.

The dispute involves a bill sponsored by Council member Hans Riemer (D-At-Large) to raise the county’s Working Families Income Supplement. The program bolsters the federal government’s refundable tax credit to low income working people, called the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Eligible households can receive credits of up to $6,000 a year from the EITC. Maryland allows residents to claim half of their federal credit on state income taxes.

Montgomery  once matched 100 percent of the Maryland credit, but reduced support when the recession hit. The current match is 85 percent. Riemer would restore it to 100 percent by 2016, increasing the average credit by $124 to $505.81.

Members in support of the legislation believe the increased supplement could assist with a car payment or utility bills.  Those in opposition expressed concern that the bill would lock the Council into another line item expenditure.