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Bill would create program to provide tax-related educational resources

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Colorado lawmakers have introduced a bill that seeks to provide tax-related educational resources to low-income families.

If passed, Senate Bill 22-182 would invest $4 million to create a state-run economic mobility program that would teach qualifying individuals about how to file for tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The bill would also provide grants to nonprofits, local public health organizations, and community-based programs that assist low-income earners with their tax filings and other forms of economic support. 

SB22-182 is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition consisting of Sen. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada. 

“Colorado families have been hit hard by rising inflation, which is why we’re doing everything we can to make our state more affordable,” Hansen said in a statement. 

“This legislation will help families better understand and file for the tax credits they are eligible for, allowing them to keep even more of their hard-earned paycheck and get some money back on their tax returns,” he continued. 

According to the latest inflation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation in the Denver metro area reached 7.9% in January, the highest rate in more than four decades. 

Inflation has also increased in Colorado in nearly every month since March 2021, according to an analysis by Common Sense Institute, a free-enterprise think tank. The only two months where inflation didn’t increase were August and September 2021. 

Colorado lawmakers passed a bill last year that expanded the state’s EITC to 25% of federal disbursements. Lawmakers previously raised this amount from 10% to 15% in 2020. 

 “The bill we’re introducing today will provide families with free tax filing assistance to claim the tax credits they’re owed so that no one leaves money on the table that is needed to pay their rent or feed their families,” Daugherty said. 

The bill will head to the Senate Finance Committee for further hearings.