MAYOR NEWSOM AND TREASURER CISNEROS RELEASE $2 MILLION TO WORKING
FAMILIES THROUGH THE NEW WORKING FAMILIES CREDIT PROGRAM
From the Mayor's Office of Communications
September 30, 2005
Mayor Gavin Newsom and Treasurer José Cisneros today announced
that the City has mailed over $2 million to 9,500 low-income San
Francisco families as part of the innovative Working Families
Credit program (WFC). The WFC is a new, local 10% match to the
federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
The WFC will match over $20 million in EITC tax credits for low-income
San Francisco families.
The EITC is a federal refundable tax credit that provides up
to $4,300 to qualified families earning less than $36,000 per
year. The EITC rewards work and helps low income families with
children keep more of their earned income.
In previous years, as much as $12 million has gone unclaimed
by eligible San Francisco families who qualified for the EITC
but did not claim it on their federal tax returns. The Mayor and
Treasurer launched the WFC in January 2005 in order to provide
an increased incentive for working San Francisco families to apply
for the EITC.
"The EITC is one federal program that actually helps the
working poor get ahead," said Mayor Newsom, who was unable
to attend the press conference.
The Mayor continued, "But not enough low-income San Franciscans
have accessed this program in the past. That's why we created
this innovative partnership that is helping almost 10,000 San
Francisco families draw down over $20 million in federal tax credits."
The average EITC benefit for participating families is $2,200,
which will be matched by an additional average of $220 from the
Working Families Credit.
The Treasurer's Office received over 11,000 applications for
the Working Families Credit. To help these families maximize the
amount of money they keep, the Treasurer worked with 18 local
banks and credit unions who agreed to cash the WFC checks for
free. Many will also help WFC recipients open free bank accounts.
"I am proud that 18 of our local banks and credit unions
are helping San Francisco families become banked and begin to
build assets," said Treasurer Cisneros.
Major sponsorship for the Working Families Credit was provided
by H&R Block, whose clients made up approximately one-third
of all applicants.
"We have made significant progress this year in building
the foundation for public and private sectors to work together
to help working families," stated Bernie Wilson, vice president
of H&R Block.
"On behalf of Block and the Working Families Coalition,
to thank Mayor Newsom and Treasurer Cisneros and look forward
to working together again to help more eligible San Francisco
families claim both the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Working
Families Credit next tax season."
SFWorks partnered with the City to develop and implement the
"We all want a City in which parents that work are able
to support their families economically," said Terri Feeley,
director of SFWorks. She adds, "The Working Families Credit
can be a vehicle for connecting these families to additional resources
that help them keep and invest more of what they earn." To
that end, the City is mailing families a list of services and
programs along with their checks.