By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
BOSTON — State Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) believes a budget recommendation she co-sponsored for Fiscal Year 2018 will benefit working families and domestic abuse survivors.
The bill draws on legislation filed by Ehrlich and Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge), making nonresidents of the state ineligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.
According to the Department of Revenue, there are more than 20,000 nonresidents who earn income tax in the state and claim the state EITC each year. With the former federal match rate of 15 percent, these claims have been estimated to cost more than $6.5 million in revenue each fiscal year. At the new match rate of 23 percent, the cost would be about $10 million in revenue each year, according to House Ways and Means estimates.
“This credit is a scarce state resource available to assist struggling working families, so it makes little sense that we are allowing people who do not live in Massachusetts to claim the credit,” Ehrlich said in a statement.
The changes also clarify eligibility for taxpayers who live in Massachusetts for part of the year and expands access to the survivors of domestic abuse by allowing them to claim the credit while filing their taxes as “married, filing separately.” In the past, an individual could not claim the EITC unless taxes were filed jointly with a spouse.
By supporting the changes, Ehrlich said the state takes the lead by enabling victims of domestic violence, who courageously flee their batterers.
The proposed budget also included a $150,000 allocation for Self Esteem Boston, a nonprofit that supports Lynn-based Project Cope, an organization that helps women in transition through homelessness or recovery from substance abuse.
The amendment was previously filed by former Rep. Gloria Fox but filed by Ehrlich in this session.
Self Esteem Boston provides essential psychological counseling and training for women in recovery from substance abuse problems.
During budget deliberations last month, the House of Representatives approved an amendment made by Ehrlich to dedicate $50,000 of the $40 million budget to clean up the odorous Pilayella algae on King’s Beach and Long Beach in Lynn.
Ehrlich called the funding crucial for combating the algae and its odor, which is a quality of life issue.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte