Hawai’i’s working families continue to struggle with the nation’s highest gap between median earnings and the cost of living, and this difficult reality has only been made harsher by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, more than a third of Hawai’i households had at least some difficulty paying for their monthly expenses in December of 2021.
One way for state government to relieve some of this financial burden on hardworking families, and at the same time boost the economy, is through the targeted use of tax credits. Hawai’i’s state EITC has lifted up thousands of working families, especially during times of economic strife. To ensure that the state EITC supports this population in the best way possible, state legislators should make the program permanent and refundable in 2022.