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Increasing EITC to Help Maine’s Working Families

Written by New Ventures Maine | Published on August 9, 2019
Two teenage boys and their mother

Supporting Her Family on a Tight Budget

When Lisa Clark and her husband decided to start a family, they knew raising children would be expensive. But they successfully started their own business and were financially on track. However, life changed in 2013 when her husband died an automobile accident. For a while, Lisa ran the business and paid off their company expenses. Nonetheless, she decided it was too hard to run the log trucking business without her husband. She couldn’t be up in the woods, working 18-hour days, while raising her young sons alone. So, she sold all the equipment and started working part-time while adjusting to her new situation.

As a single mom of two teenage boys, every penny makes a difference. While working part-time, Lisa attends the University of Maine at Presque Isle full time. A new degree program makes it possible for her to afford attaining her bachelor’s degree in business administration. She is able to work at her own pace for a flat cost of $2,000 per semester. It’s a bargain and very convenient. However, it’s still an additional expense for her household.
In June, her oldest son graduated and will attend college in Ohio. She anticipates the cost of setting him up in his dorm will be roughly $1,500. Her youngest just completed his driver’s education course which has subsequently doubled her auto insurance rate. Not to mention the heating cost for their home averages $450 per month.

EITC Helps Lisa Make Ends Meet and Save for the Future

Lisa visited Aroostook County CA$H’s free tax preparation program for the first time this year.

“The program has not only reassured me that I am filing our taxes correctly, but that there is no cost. In the past, I was paying $200 to file our taxes which was an added expense for my family. At CA$H, I was also shown ways to save money, develop a household budget that works, and make the most out of my refund.”

With her refund, she covered the costs of her son’s driver’s ed course, college dorm expenses, and her education program. Most importantly, she didn’t have to use money budgeted for household expenses. She even set aside money for the upcoming winter’s heating expenses.

“I’m relieved not to have to figure out which bills can be put off another month or two to cover any additional expenses. My worse fear is that I will have an unforeseen home or medical expense that I am unable to cover. This credit allows me to plan for the unexpected.”