Opinion Columns & Blogs

Why lawmakers should leave EITC alone

Buffett AP

Some in the Legislature are targeting the earned income tax credit for reduction or elimination – and for the $50 million it costs the state a year. That seems foolish and risky, given that the $50 million counts as part of the match qualifying Kansas for federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding of about $102 million a year. Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett calls for expanding the EITC at the federal level as an alternative to sizably increasing the minimum wage, arguing in a Wall Street Journal commentary: “The EITC rewards work and provides an incentive for workers to improve their skills. Equally important, it does not distort market forces, thereby maximizing employment.” And as Sister Therese Bangert of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth has argued, while other tax credits for the poor have evaporated amid the Legislature’s tax reforms, Kansas’ EITC “is the one credit that’s held on to help low-income working parents take care of their families.” – Rhonda Holman