$700,000 is Pumped Into Local Economy


Federal Program Lifts Children Out of Poverty as Tax Credits Boost Area Parishes

Nearly $700,000 was pumped back into the local economies in St. Landry and Evangeline parishes because of reimbursements from the 2010 Earned Income Tax Credit, the St. Landry-Evangeline United Way announced last week.

A record-breaking $690,390 was credited, according to a news release.  The average claim was $4,645.29.  In addition, about $269,000 was received for the Child Tax Credit and $3,228 for the Education Credit, based on the filed returns.

Credited with lifting more children out of poverty than any other federal program, the government offers tax credits of up to $5,666 that help low-to moderate-income families pay for basic needs, including education and transportation.

In addition, many residents claimed their full refunds for free by filing taxes at one of several local volunteer tax preparation sites the United Way promotes.

"As our local economy continues to recover, these dollars provide a boost to our business community," Executive Director of St. Landry-Evangeline United Way Ginger LeCompte said in a news release.  "Refund dollars are spent on health care, home improvements, job training, car repairs, clothing and other goods and services."

St. Landry-Evangeline United Way began promoting EITC in 2010, but for years supported financial literacy programs that teach people how to budget and manage their money.

"The two programs should go hand in hand, and we will be promoting this program more aggressively in the future," president-elect Elaina LeBlanc said in the news release.  Leblanc is the chair of the community impact committee of St. Landry-Evangeline United Way.