Encouraging United Ways of Texas to continue their strong track-record of statewide financial stability work, Governor Perry proclaimed January 31st Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) dollars have proven to support local businesses and economic development, streaming billions of dollars into the Texas economy each year. While the popularity of this tax program continues to grow, over 1 billion EITC dollars go unclaimed each year due to limited community awareness and access to free tax preparation sites.

“We have long recognized the need for heightened EITC awareness, and are proud to see it duly noted at the state level,” confirms Michael Terry, Executive Vice President for United Ways of Texas (UWT) and Chairman of RAISE Texas, both of which take particular interest in EITC promotion because of their involvement with several statewide financial stability initiatives.

EITC refunds have the ability to boost Texas families’ annual income by 35%, lifting 500,000 Texans, many of whom are children, out of poverty in 2008.  The Texas 2-1-1 System has already connected thousands of working Texans to hundreds of Community Tax Center sites throughout the state, helping Texans file and claim their EITC dollars and finally connecting them to asset building opportunities to strengthen the power of their dollars.

Terry continues, “This is encouraging news for all Texans. I applaud Governor Perry for helping United Ways of Texas, our local United Way members, and other statewide partners like RAISE Texas and Bank of America support a program that rewards hard work and promotes financial stability. These refunds allow families to take their first steps in saving for college, small business development, and/or homeownership, which may not be a reality for many working Texas families without EITC dollars.”

“Through our partnership with the United Way of Texas, Bank of America wants to help underserved individuals and families preserve income and develop assets, and thereby advance the health and vitality of our region,” commits Kenny Wilson, Bank of America Central and South Texas President. 

In his proclamation, Governor Perry urges, “…all Texans to recognize the importance of tax credits- tools that can lead us to financial stability and can assist in achieving the American Dream for ourselves and loved ones. Together, we can continue to make a difference for the future of this great state.”

Volunteer Opportunities
To help spread the awareness of EITC programs throughout the state, please contact Texas
2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or you may visit United Ways of Texas’ website at www.uwtexas.org to download your EITC Awareness Day Tool-Kit.

About United Ways of Texas
United Ways of Texas (UWT) is committed to supporting financial stability initiatives statewide, working to increase awareness of EITC programs through collaborative efforts with their partner United Ways in 70 different Texas communities. UWT also supports several statewide education, healthcare, and disaster preparedness initiatives funded through a base of national partners including Pre-K Now, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Pew Charitable Trusts, upholding their mission to make Texas a better place to live and do business. For more information about UWT please contact Katie Cox, Director of Project Communications, Katie.Cox@uwtexas.org.