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The Reach of the Massachusetts State Earned Income Tax Credit, by City and Town

By Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director, March 8, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of households across the Commonwealth have a better chance at a brighter future, thanks to the state’s earned income tax credit (EITC). Our entire Commonwealth benefits when every household earns enough to make ends meet. Yet over the past few decades, incomes for many working people have stagnated, in large part due to economic policies that have de-emphasized the importance of wage growth. This has made it hard for many working families to keep a roof overhead, put food on the table, or pay for basic necessities. The EITC, a refundable tax credit for low-income workers, provides a meaningful boost to after-tax earnings. In 2016, the value of the state credit increased from 15 percent to 23 percent of the federal earned income tax credit, which increased the amount of the credit received by each claimant.

More than 400,000 tax filers claim the Massachusetts state EITC each year. In Fiscal Year 2019, the state’s Administration currently estimates tax filers will receive a total of $214.1 million in credits (for further funding details, see MassBudget’s Children’s Budget).

Using the most current data available from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (tax years 2013-2015, prior to the increase from 15 percent to 23 percent of the federal credit), the interactive map below shows the share of all tax filers in each city and town who benefited from the state EITC. (The full interactive map and data for all cities and towns is at the Kids Count Data Center.)