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Extensive research has shown that LGBTQ people in the United States experience poverty at higher rates compared to cisgender heterosexual people. Among LGBTQ adults, transgender people and cisgender bisexual women experience the highest rates of economic insecurity. Through interviews with low-income LGBTQ persons, this report documents their experiences with poverty, including factors leading to and maintaining economic insecurity within the LGBTQ community, such as childhood poverty, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, anti-LGBT bias within families and employment settings, and more. The findings outlined in this report have implications for anti-poverty advocates, because systemic oppression and interpersonal stigma on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation affect many people’s economic stability.
The current federal Child Tax Credit (CTC), which provides up to $2,000 per child, is designed to provide an income boost to parents or guardians of children and other dependents. However, many low-income families do not receive the full benefit of the federal credit due to an earnings requirement and lack of full refundability for families with low incomes. A state-level CTC could redress some of the shortcomings of the current federal credit. By eliminating the requirement for earnings, along with the phase-in, and making the credit fully refundable, low-income families would be eligible for the full benefit, ultimately reducing child poverty.
In offsetting federal income and payroll taxes and supplementing the earnings of low-wage workers across the country, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in the U.S. However, the EITC provides little or no benefits to workers without children; for childless adults, aged 25 through 64, the maximum credit is small and the income limits are restrictive. The tables in this report outline the benefits of relaxing age requirements under state EITCs to include both young and older childless adults; they also identify the impact of bringing existing state EITCs for that population up to 100 percent of the federal credit to help counteract shortcomings in the federal credit’s design.
Data from states and municipalities across the country suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color in the United States. This report analyzes emerging data on deaths, unemployment, failing businesses, and wealth inequality to assess the links between racial and ethnic economic inequities, structural racism, and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on people of color.
Due to structural economic and social inequality, low-income communities and communities of color continue to face many challenges in the economic-development process. Through eleven examples of community wealth building initiatives, the first section of this report offers low-income individuals and communities a number of strategies that revolve around comprehensive development, anchor-institution partnerships, community organizing, and technical assistance that can aid them in advancing economically and building their wealth. In the next section, this report outlines both historical and emerging trends in efforts to build skills and empower low-income community members.
Thirty states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) allow a broad category of tax subsidies known as itemized deductions, used to reduce taxpayers’ taxable income. Itemized deductions are regressive, offering the largest benefits to higher-income taxpayers and little or no benefits to low and middle-income families. Additionally, Black and Hispanic families tend to receive smaller tax cuts from itemized deductions than white families. This report outlines options state lawmakers can take to address these problems, including outright repeal, applying broad-based phase-outs or caps, and limiting specific deductions such as for mortgage interest on second homes or for charitable gifts constituting a small percentage of income.
For more than two centuries, corporations have extracted enormous wealth from the Appalachian region for the profit of owners and shareholders, leaving the area with high rates of poverty, unemployment and low wages. To navigate around these issues, along with the severely changing climate, this blueprint outlines real, lasting, structural changes that will lead to healthy and successful Appalachian communities. In particular, the "New Deal that Works for Us" proposes that the Appalachian region can build a strong and lasting economy based on investments in a clean economic future that puts workers first, respects communities, takes care of the land, and grows local wealth.
Economic insecurity is the root of many of the problems women and girls face in Rhode Island. Federal and state governments can help promote women’s economic security by implementing policies that promote equality and adequate earnings in the workplace and investing in programs that help families make ends meet. This report reviews the status of subsidized childcare and provides information about two professions where women comprise the majority of the workforce: childcare and caregiving. This report also looks at the state investment in Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), RI Works cash assistance and health insurance. The report finds that there have been some progress in strengthening these programs, but much more to be done. The path to women’s economic security requires policies that promote equality and adequate earnings in the workplace and investments in programs that help families.
Asset poor families, those that cannot sustain themselves without income for at least three months or weather emergencies without falling into the safety net, are consistently vulnerable. Arizona seeks to align its economic development, safety net, and education systems to benefit both its citizens and its economy through an asset development framework. Assets reduce the risk of poverty and reliance on the safety-net, break generational poverty, enable people to start businesses and invest in education. This report explores why assets are so important and how social policy has conflicted with asset accumulation, provides evidence of Arizona’s asset-poor environment, identifies potential state policy strategies, and outlines a framework for action for system partners.
While Connecticut’s working families are struggling with low wages, threats of eviction, food instability, lack of affordable health care, and high levels of unemployment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut’s wealthiest residents have amassed unprecedented wealth. In response to the state’s high rates of income inequality and extreme wealth gaps, Connecticut must adopt an equitable state budget that repairs the regressive tax structure by requiring billionaires to pay their fair share, invest in key programs and services to aid struggling communities, and take major steps towards eliminating racial and economic disparities.