Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Miami’s Free Services Help Residents Through Difficult Financial Times

This week we kicked off our 2009 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax preparation campaign at the Youth Co-Op Center, 3525 NW 7 St. There are over 20 City-sponsored locations that will be offering free tax preparation services as part of this year’s EITC campaign. Eligible residents who file their tax returns at these sites can learn if they qualify to receive a federal income tax refund of up to $4,824 via the EITC and up to an additional $1,000 per child via the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
EITC tax credits can result in sizable refunds for low-income working families and help millions of individuals out of poverty nationwide. Each year, thousands of eligible households in the City of Miami fail to claim this entitlement, leaving millions of dollars worth of EITC benefits unclaimed.
Find out if you’re eligible for EITC at the
IRS website.
This campaign is one of the many initiatives in the City of Miami to help our residents during difficult financial times.
When I first took office, my administration resolved to reverse decades of official inaction and neglect and tackle the issue of poverty head on. Many of our residents were unaware of benefits and programs for which they were eligible, such as EITC.
In 2002 we launched the City’s first ever city-wide poverty reduction initiative, ACCESS Miami, investing directly in poverty reduction and in the years since we have continued to build this effort. Now we have a more comprehensive and integrated poverty reduction strategy that reaches more of our residents. These efforts have made a difference. More residents than ever now access the benefits and supports that they are entitled to. Poverty has been reduced, even while our population has grown greatly.
Because of our leadership, Miami became a founding member of Cities for Financial Empowerment - a 7-city working group dedicated to financial empowerment of at-risk city residents - Pioneering cities from across the country that have made tangible and measurable commitments to supporting financial empowerment programming - reducing poverty by addressing key underlying causes.
ACCESS Miami has and continues to successfully empower City of Miami residents and small business entrepreneurs by tackling four cornerstones: access to existing benefits, access to capital, wealth and accumulation of assets, and financial literacy. The program has received national recognition, with grants and awards from the Council for the New American City, the Mayors Business Council at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, and the National City Livability Award.

To learn more about how ACCESS Miami can help you, click HERE.
- Manny