Helping one child is fantastic – but how about we help 250,000 in one year

As the leader of a youth-focused foundation in Detroit, I know firsthand that the Working Parents Tax Cut is a life-changing policy for hardworking families in Michigan.

It is rare in Michigan right now, let alone in our country, to see unity behind policy initiatives. Recent polling of likely 2024 voters in Michigan found overwhelmingly strong support for a one billion dollar Working Parents Tax Cut (WPTC) to help parents raising young children afford household necessities like childcare.

Michigan Future was a leader in the effort to expand Michigan’s Earned Income Tax Credit – succeeding in 2023 with the expansion of the EITC from 6% to 30%. This was achieved by leading and organizing a statewide coalition of more than 230 organizations to advocate for this significant, life-changing tax policy that helps Michigan’s working families deal with ever-rising costs of necessities. The WPTC is the next step in the equation for a prosperous state where every hardworking parent has what they need to provide for their family.

Michigan’s success is dependent on ensuring our residents can thrive. As Michigan’s economy grows, so should the wages of residents. It’s that simple.

The WPTC is an example of a powerful policy that ensures the success of our economy by including residents in three thoughtful ways.

One, we are living in a time post-pandemic where there is near universal acknowledgement that young people need a lot more support than what they’re currently receiving. Holistic wraparounds and access to nourishing spaces is key. This is a need around the clock – both in-school and out-of-school, but costs money and as hard as families are working, achieving this access for our youngest Michiganders is still illusive for many.

Two, we are living in a time where residents want the independence to make their own choices. Michiganders need access to capital, and not always government programs, for support. We need to trust our working parents across the state, in cities and small towns and everywhere in between. The WPTC gives parents the freedom to choose the necessities to spend their money on.

Three, it’s about scale. While government programs are critical today, we are only helping 30,000 children through child subsidy. The WPTC is the only way to get to scale – helping an estimated 250,000 children in one year alone. Money for hard working families to invest more in their kids will have a multiplier effect on their educational outcomes and subsequently on the future prosperity of our state.

The last point I’ll make is about the price tag of this policy. The cost of the WPTC isn’t a “gotcha.” Voters on both sides of the aisle were asked about the cost and the majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents agreed putting money in the pockets of Michigan residents was worth it. The WPTC is supported not only by families who would directly benefit from the policy, but by those without kids, with higher household incomes, residents over 50 and more.

We must continue to redefine support for working families, and the WPTC empowers parents to make the right decisions for their families and in turn strengthens the state. At Michigan Future, we understand the WPTC to not only be a good idea, but as a generation-changing policy for Michigan.

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