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Dayton leaders gather to kick off Tax Credit Awareness Day

Marco Verch

Montgomery County Job and Family Services hosted an event with community leaders to raise awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits which range between $600 for workers with no dependents to $7,430 for some families. Eligible recipients subtract the credit amount from their federal income taxes.

To be eligible for the tax credits people must file an income tax return.

Also highlighted was the Super Refund Saturday event scheduled for February 3rd, which provides free tax preparation assistance by IRS-trained volunteers for low to moderate income wage earners through a partnership with KeyBank to help workers take advantage of these tax credits.

Adama Diakhate, Community Engagement Specialist with the city of Dayton and program coordinator for the event, said there are also ten sites in the Dayton area providing free tax preparation for low to mid income families for the 2023 tax season.

“Most of our sites will start January 22 and go all the way through April 15th,” Daikhate said.

Locations include the Beavercreek Senior Center, Dayton Children's Hospital, the Fairborn Senior Center, the Miamisburg Community Center, the Northwest Library of the Dayton Metro Library, Partners in Hope, St. Paul United Methodist Church, the Montgomery County Job Center, Trotwood, and the Xenia Public Library.

Dayton Mayor Jeffery J. Mims, Junior spoke about the importance of these programs for Montgomery County Residents which are aimed at helping to lift millions of people out of poverty.

“Montgomery County, Ohio was number one in the nation in terms of predatory lending during the height of that issue, and we were also first in the nation in (home) foreclosures,” Mayor Mims said, speaking of Dayton’s recent economic history. “Also at that time Ohio was number one in the nation for job loss and number 49 for job creation. So programs like this came at a very vital time.”

The EITC was enacted in 1975 as part of the Tax Reduction Act to provide financial assistance to low-income, working families with children.

The CTC followed in 1997 as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act.

Sharon Taste is the manager of the Northwest Branch of the Dayton Metro Library, which has served as one of the EITC sites for the volunteer tax preparation service since 2017. Taste spoke at the event about the impact she has personally seen this program have on the community.

“Families, when they come to the library for this service, they return year after year after year. Not only because of the service being provided at the Library — but I really believe that they make a connection with the tax preparers that are assisting them. And many of the patrons actually know the tax preparers by name,” Taste said.

Tom Mott is one of the IRS-trained volunteers and has provided free tax preparation for the past 20 years. He shared a story about a young single mother who came in who didn’t make a lot of money, and was able to get a $3,000 earned income credit.

“The woman had a daughter who was in the 8th grade, and she started crying,” Mott recalled of their meeting.

“Now I can buy her a computer,” the young mother said, which deeply touched Mott.

Information on the free tax services, including locations and hours, is available from United Way HelpLink at 937-913-2000 and on the City of Dayton's website.

Renee Wilde was part of the 2013 Community Voices class, allowing her to combine a passion for storytelling and love of public radio. She started out as a volunteer at the radio station, creating the weekly WYSO Community Calendar and co-producing Women’s Voices from the Dayton Correctional Institution - winner of the 2017 PRINDI award for best long-form documentary. She also had the top two highest ranked stories on the WYSO website in one year with Why So Curious features. Renee produced WYSO’s series County Lines which takes listeners down back roads and into small towns throughout southwestern Ohio, and created Agraria’s Grounded Hope podcast exploring the past, present and future of agriculture in Ohio through a regenerative lens. Her stories have been featured on NPR, Harvest Public Media and Indiana Public Radio.