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Tax Credits Blog

CALL TO ACTION - the time is now!

If you want to continue receiving tax credits for hiring as well as Empowerment Zone credits, here's what you have to do - a letter from Paul Sulpizio - WOTC Coalition - its a lot of good reading and if you want the FACT SHEET mentioned in the letter, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll be sure to get it to you.

 

Ken Brice

 

 

March 23, 2015

 

Bi-partisan bills are being prepared in the House and Senate to make WOTC permanent.  When they are introduced, we will be calling on Coalition members who live or have operations in all fifty states to reach out to their congressperson and senators to co-sponsor our bills.

 

Those bills will be assigned to the Ways and Means and Finance Committees, so now is the time for us to concentrate our efforts mainly on Republican members of those committees to lay the groundwork for our coming push to report a bill making WOTC permanent.

 

Key to this campaign will be our efforts to persuade Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan.  In the last Congress he spent prodigious energy, in fact-finding and in several speeches, to shape public opinion toward   reform of the nation’s poverty programs. 

 

Chairman Ryan’s efforts are summed up in a discussion draft he wrote last year which may still be read at the Budget Committee’s web site, www.budget.house.gov, click on “Expanding Opportunity In America.”

 

Now as Ways and Means Chairman, Mr. Ryan is able to put his ideas to work because Ways and Means governs not only tax programs related to poverty, like the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, but also Medicare and Medicaid, Welfare and Social Security!

 

He now has entire subcommittees and their staffs in each of these areas working on carrying out his ideas, and they have a detailed roadmap—just go back to www.budget.house.gov and click on “The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later” and you’ll see it’s as detailed a roadmap as anyone can conceive.  His goal is easy to infer from the first line, “There are 92 poverty programs . . .!”

 

Whenever WOTC has come up, Mr. Ryan has asked questions about its efficacy as a component of the nation’s anti-poverty safety net.  To us, he’s been making clear that, in his mind, whether WOTC stands or falls in tax reform will depend on the answer to his question.

 

 

This may be our only avenue to making WOTC permanent—a fight we have to win or we can forget about temporary extension.

 

When WOTC comes up in the Senate, we can expect Chairman Hatch to be relatively indifferent to its fate—he has bigger fish to fry.  But if Chairman Ryan is persuaded that WOTC should be retained, Senator Hatch is likely to fall in line.  We should remember Mr. Ryan is a man who always likes to have facts and analysis, as well as the votes, on his side.

 

Chairman Ryan’s basic approach is to consolidate revenue streams of the 92 poverty programs into a single block grant to the states, with standards and safeguards set at the Federal level.  A big question he must face is what programs lend themselves to consolidation in a block grant, and which ones must be kept as national programs—not delegated to the states.

 

Mr. Ryan has already decided the earned income tax credit is a core anti-poverty program he want to retain at the national level—he’s come out publicly for this and more.  Having decided to keep EITC as core anti-poverty, he also wants it improved at significant cost—you may read his reforms at “Expanding Opportunity In America.”  Coincidentally, President Obama agrees with Chairman Ryan’s expansion and includes it in his budget.

 

In the attached Fact Sheet on WOTC And The Poverty Safety Net, we make the case that WOTC has equal merit for being retained as companion to EITC in the core safety net.  We start with Mr. Ryan’s principle that  every able-bodied individual must make a commitment to work if they take government aid.  In other words, the goal of every poverty program, now and in the future, should be a job.

 

 

To us, it’s hard to conceive any better way for WOTC to fit into Mr. Ryan’s plans than as core component of his anti-poverty plan for a block grant, because WOTC’s object has always been jobs.  And because it is targeted, it has always provided mainly jobs for the poor.  It has more than three decades of proven effectiveness as a national program to give an extra boost to workers on public assistance and thus meet the test for poverty or near poverty.

 

In the fact sheet, we also point to how Mr. Ryan can improve WOTC if he decides to retain it—we believe he’s bound to ask this question.  So now is the time for us, as a group, to compile the changes we’d like to make for a more expansive and efficient WOTC functioning as part of the nation’s anti-poverty safety net.  Let’s hear your ideas.

 

We’ve had the benefit of good fact sheets, cited at our web site, in the past, but now we have a fact sheet with a new focus on the anti-poverty safety net.  We ask that you study it carefully and not be bashful about replying with your criticisms, comments, and recommendations.

 

But don’t let this stop you from going to work—get out your roster of Ways and Means Committee and Finance Committee members, find those from your state or states where you have clients or operations, and send them a letter from someone in the state or district, or from someone (yourself) who represents clients or operations in the state or district, reciting who you are and what you do and making the case that WOTC is on the table for consideration by the members of these committees so you are writing to express your views.  If there’s nobody from you state or district, write the chairman and ranking minority member of the committee.

 

Don’t be mistaken, a letter is to state your case—it’s only a beginning—to be effective you must follow it up with a phone call to the principal’s tax legislative assistant and subsequently meet with the principal and stay continuously in touch with the tax L.A. and principal  Lobbying isn’t just a touch—it’s a lunge for the jugular because it’s make or break time.

 

In every communication do not fail to state clearly what you want, and end by stating what you are asking the congressperson or senator to doNever forget the bottom line!  

 

A good opening for your letter to a member of the Senate Finance Committee is:

“In the past two months, Chairman Hatch has held hearings on tax reform, and recently he invited public comments on every aspect of tax reform.  I am writing to explain the the importance of the work opportunity tax credit to the poverty safety net and why it should be made permanent in tax reform. . . .”

 

A good opening for your letter to a member of the House Ways and Means Committee is:

 

“Chairman Paul Ryan has repeatedly invited comments from the public on all aspects of tax reform.  One of the areas of special interest to the Chairman is reform of the nation’s poverty programs, and in that connection I’d like to comment on the relevance of the work opportunity tax credit to the poverty safety net. . . .”

 

PAUL E SUPLIZIO

President, WOTC Coalition

 

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