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Sep 18 2020 | 

Author: Andrew | 

Today, Governor Newsom signed landmark legislation that will help to alleviate the drastic increase in hunger for 600,000 Californians, including 200,000 children. AB 1876 ends the exclusion of immigrant workers earning $30,000 or less who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which includes undocumented workers and immigrants with student visas, from the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC). This tax credit program has been proven to help Californians afford basic needs, like food and rent, and lift families out of poverty. Thank you to Governor Newsom for leading the way to become the second state (after Colorado) to include immigrant tax filers in the EITC.

The California Association of Food Banks is proud to be long-standing member of the CalEITC Coalition advocating for the CalEITC expansion and inclusion of ITIN tax filers as a priority for food banks who are often the only option for those excluded from other benefits.

Notably:

  • The CalEITC, paired with the YCTC for which ITIN filers are also now eligible, will put money in the pockets of low wage, immigrant workers and families who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and who do not qualify for federal programs like CalFresh.
  • Of the Californians who will benefit, 98% are people of color and two-thirds are women. 
  • This legislation also recognizes the positive impact that undocumented workers make to our economy by contributing over $3.2 billion in state and local taxes annually.


This is a huge win and a significant step towards sustainable and equitable policy for all. We also thank the dedication of Assemblymembers Gomez Reyes, Arambula, Chiu, Gonzales, and Senators Durazo, Allen, Weiner and many more to seeing this vital policy become a reality.

"Food banks have had to double and triple the amount of food they distribute during this health, economic, and hunger crisis — they see first-hand the impact when neighbors are excluded from programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit. Full CalEITC and YCTC inclusion for ITIN filers will make a significant step towards fighting hunger, and acknowledging the significant contribution all of California’s hard-working taxpayers make to our economy. California Association of Food Banks thanks Governor Newsom and Legislative leaders for helping to ensure essential workers have money for food and other basic needs," said Shanti Prasad, Senior Policy Advocate for the California Association of Food Banks.

These critically needed funds will advance the fight against hunger when tax filers receive their refunds next spring, but more must be done. Hunger is at record levels for all Californians but highest for Latinx families: one in three families with children does not have enough to eat. The failure of our federal government to pass COVID-19 relief legislation in recent month makes it all the more urgent for the Governor Newsom to continue his leadership to help mitigate this hunger crisis.

We urge Governor Newsom to sign AB 826 to continue California’s leadership to provide desperately needed emergency food assistance to alleviate hunger among low-income immigrant families. This legislation paired with the now inclusive CalEITC and YCTC, would make a significant impact in decreasing hunger, while boosting our critical food economy, providing a healthier and more just future for every Californian.