Step Up Savannah endorses bill to put more money in Chatham County residents pockets

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Georgia state legislature is considering a bill that could help save low and middle-income families some money. The state Earned Income Tax Credit bill would reduce the amount of taxes you pay each year.

Step Up Savannah is endorsing this bill to promote economic and financial security for residents in Chatham County. A 10 percent Georgia work credit would cut state taxes by up to $475 for those working families. The idea behind it is to leave more money in their pockets while supporting families working their way up to the middle class.

“We believe it to be a win-win for both working families and for local economies,” Interim Executive Director of Step Up Savannah, Alicia Johnson said.

Step Up Savannah is partnering with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute to offer a state earned income tax credit that could benefit 700,000 working Georgia families. It would provide a bottom-up tax cut to those who struggle to make ends meet because of low paying jobs.

“Largely our work there in the capital was about overcoming some of the barriers that our community is facing for hiring, poverty issues and we wanted to deal directly with that,” Johnson said.

This credit is said to encourage work, help families transition into higher-paying jobs and allows Georgians to keep more of their hard-earned money.

“This would benefit about 24 percent of Georgia families and assist specifically in Chatham County with about 30,500 families who earn about $56,000 annually,” Johnson said.

Johnson says the cost of living is already high enough for working families and when layering on other expenses finances begin to run tight. The credit would give more money to families to help with transportation, daycare, healthcare. A 10 percent refundable credit could bring in more than 8.2 million dollars to the local economy.

“Savannah boasts one of the largest poverty rates in the state. We are double the national average,” Johnson said.

Step Up Savannah says this would make Georgia’s tax code fairer. The bill is being co-sponsored by Ron Stephens but it has not been introduced during the legislative session as of yet. This work credit would cost 130 million dollars compared to 550 million in lost revenue from the potential further income tax cut reduction.

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