Tax Credits for Working Families: Powerful Tools to Improve Health

Public health professionals, tax policy experts and advocates for working families came together at this insightful briefing about how targeted tax credits can yield meaningful health benefits for families earning modest incomes. Created in 1975, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) reduces federal taxes for low-wage workers and has become one of the most effective policy tools to strengthen working families, bolster the labor force and alleviate poverty. Twenty-nine states also build on the EITC’s success with their own versions of the credit. Georgia does not currently offer a similar credit, though state lawmakers have introduced legislation to do so in recent years and seriously considered creating a “Georgia Work Credit” this year.

Photos from the Briefing

Researchers have linked numerous positive outcomes to these credits, including better school performance, higher workforce participation and greater lifetime earnings. New research has also increasingly highlighted the health benefits from tax credits for working families. An Emory-led study published last year found significant improvement in infant birth weight associated with states’ work credits based on the EITC.

Attendees learned more about the power of tax and fiscal policy to improve health, including infant health. The event took place on Tue., Aug. 28 from 8 to 9:30 am at the Lawrence P. and Ann Estes Klamon Room within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Presentations:

  • Introductions from Taifa Butler, Executive Director, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute and Dr. James Curran, Dean of Public Health, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University
  • Dr. Giridhar Mallya, Senior Policy Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Laura Harker, Policy Analyst, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
  • Dr. Kelli Komro, Professor, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University

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