Policy Shop: Transferring Cash to Poor People at the Local Level

New post at Policy Shop. Excerpt:

The real fascinating case, then, is the Montgomery County EITC. Because most local governments do not have their own income tax, a local EITC program seems impractical. But Montgomery County has gotten around this problem by piggybacking off of Maryland’s state EITC program. When a Montgomery County resident receives money from the state EITC, they get an additional EITC payment courtesy of Montgomery County (currently the additional payment is 72.5% of the state’s EITC payment). The state administers all of the disbursement and the county simply reimburses it for the costs.

Given the small-time nature of many local governments, this model seems like the kind of thing local activists concerned about inequality and poverty could actually replicate in many places other than Montgomery County. When you start to think about what you can actually do on a local level to advance economic justice — a far more difficult project than many realize — setting up a local EITC program should probably be near the top of your list.

Read the rest at Policy Shop.