Attracting workers & families: House Democrats plan to put money back into pockets

Policy Committee hosts hearing about earned income and childcare tax credits to help Pennsylvanian’s thrive.

HARRISBURG, Feb. 15 – Today, the PA House Democratic Policy Committee explored the lack of competitive tax credits in Pennsylvania and what that does to the economy.

“The tax credits we’re here to talk about today would put money back in the pockets of working people across Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester. “These credits have the potential to lift families out of poverty all while expanding our economy and continuing to recover our Commonwealth from COVID-19.”  

By 2023, the federal government and 30 states will have enacted earned income and childcare tax credits. Each year, 25 million low-income workers and families receive these tax credits, keeping them above the federal poverty threshold of $21,678 per year. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that doesn’t have EITC and childcare tax credits supporting those families.

Today’s hearing took place at noon in room G-50 of the Speaker K. Leroy Irvis Office Building in Harrisburg. Testifiers included Dr. Laura Crispin, associate professor, Department of Economics, Saint Joseph’s University; Kristen Rotz, president, United Way of PA; and Phil Falvo, public policy director, United Way of PA.

Crispin noted that surrounding states Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey and New York, as well as19 other states, have refundable state credit for EITC, adding that it’s a proven anti-poverty program. Testifiers from United Way of PA brought this into context for Pennsylvania families, saying an estimated 56,000 people would be lifted out of poverty and would help increase state revenues through payment of sales and personal income taxes. The move would also reduce the state’s public assistance costs.

“House Democrats are focused on working in the legislature to make Pennsylvania a place that is attractive to workers and families,” said Rep. Mary Isaacson, D-Phila. “We have a plan called Propel PA to grow the economy in our Commonwealth. This hearing proves that, if enacted, our proposal would give all Pennsylvanians an opportunity to thrive.” 

Information about this and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at