The Earned Income Tax Credit: Lifting Working Families Out of Poverty
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22% of Missouri's young children live under the poverty level. Research shows that a child's development is affected negatively by circumstances of poverty. Children raised in poverty are more likely to have poorer physical health and growth, poorer academic achievement, more behavior problems at home and at school, increased rates of anxiety and depression, and diminished self-esteem. Sales, excise and property taxes are more burdensome to these families than to families with higher incomes. Any increases in these taxes create additional hardships for low-income families. Missouri is among the 12 states with the greatest tax burden on working poor families. An earned income tax credit will provide substantial tax relief for these families during an economic slowdown.