Making Ends Meet

Help more than 200,000 Kansas families make ends meet


What is the EITC?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) gets and keeps people in Kansas working. It can only be claimed by people who earn income through work and pay taxes, and the credit is structured to encourage people to work more hours. At the federal level, it was designed to offset payroll, excise and income taxes paid by families with low- and moderate-incomes, leaving them with more to support their children and easing their transition from welfare to work. Because working families who receive the federal credit also pay a substantial share of their income in state and local taxes (sales, excise and property taxes that as a share of income hit lower-income families harder than wealthier ones), Kansas established its own EITC.

Who is impacted by the EITC?

In 2010, 211,262 families in Kansas (or 17.4%) benefited from the federal government’s EITC. Those same families received over $80 million, or $381 per household, through Kansas’s version of the tax credit and spent those dollars on basic needs in local communities in your district.

Kansans who work should be able to support their families and meet their basic needs. But low pay makes it difficult for many families to get by. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps families who work pay for basic necessities. It encourages and supports work by giving low-earning families a boost in income and offsetting some of the taxes they pay. And it is the nation’s single most effective tool for keeping children out of poverty.


Why does this matter to Kansas?

  • Keeps Kansans working, despite low wages. An extensive body of research shows that the EITC substantially increases work among poor single parents. Like the federal credit, the Kansas EITC helps working families get by on low wages, which helps them stay employed. The EITC is also structured to encourage the lowest-earning families to work more hours, and that additional time and experience in the workforce opens up better opportunities and higher pay down the line.
  • Helps Kansas families make ends meet. The Kansas EITC provides low- and moderate-income families with a needed income boost that can help them meet basic needs and cover the cost of child care and transportation, which helps them find and keep a job.
  • Reduces poverty, especially among Kansas children. The federal EITC is the nation’s single most effective tool for reducing poverty among working families and children. It lifts about 6.1 million people — over half of them children — out of poverty each year. The boost given by the Kansas EITC lifts additional families out of poverty and helps near-poor families make ends meet.
  • Has a lasting effect on Kansas’ children. Low-income children in families whose income is increased through initiatives like the EITC do better and go further in school. As a result, they work more hours and earn higher incomes as adults. This is good for all Kansans and our economy because it puts more individuals and families on solid ground and fewer in need of help over the long haul.

To learn more about how you can help to protect the EITC in Kansas or to join our coalition of supporters, contact KCEG Executive Director Annie McKay.