As Congress gears up to debate the extension of a number of tax provisions this Fall, advocates are working to ensure that discussions to permanently extend corporate tax breaks include the opportunity to save highly effective, yet still temporary, provisions of the EITC and CTC.
The stakes are high. Critical improvements to the EITC and CTC – including marriage penalty relief – are set to expire in 2017 and more than 50 million Americans – including 25 million children – would lose part or all of their EITC or CTC if policymakers fail to act. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 16 million people in low- and modest-income working families, including 8 million children, will fall into – or deeper into – poverty in 2018 if these key provisions are not made permanent. The recently released poverty data is a stark reminder of the the profound impact of safety net programs such as the EITC and CTC, which jointly have lifted 9.9 million people out of poverty.
What can foundations do to engage? Within the legal parameters, foundations have many options for supporting or even conducting advocacy on this and other public policy issues. Some foundations have found that their deep knowledge of public policies and impacted communities as well as their connections with key players has placed them in a unique position to help generate long-term systemic change through advocacy. Fortunately, the Alliance for Justice’s recently released Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook provides practical rules and concrete examples of best practices, demystifying philanthropy’s role in both funding and conducting advocacy.
If you or your colleagues have specific questions about ways to effectively plug into this conversation to save key provisions of the EITC or CTC, please don’t hesitate to contact us.