State program helpslow-income families

To the editor

   Sometimes, government is accused of not being in touch with the people it serves. But Gov. James E. McGreevey and his administration understand how difficult it can be to raise a family on a limited income, particularly in New Jersey, where the cost of housing and other necessities ranks among the highest in the nation.
   We want to do everything we can to help you make ends meet.
   As the tax season comes to a close, all hard-working families in New Jersey should be aware of the programs available to them. In particular, working families throughout the state should know that they might qualify for a check worth thousands of dollars this year through the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
   The EITC is a progressive program that rewards work and encourages self-sufficiency, particularly among low-income parents. This important program can make a big difference. For example, a working parent or couple with two children and an income between $10,000 and $13,000 can receive $4,008 from the federal EITC and an extra $601 from the state program.
   That amounts to $4,609, or an extra $384 a month in the pockets of hard-working yet low-income New Jersey residents. Working families struggling with the high cost of living in this state should take advantage of this program.
   The state EITC is available to families earning up to $20,000 a year, while families earning as much as $32,000 a year can qualify for the federal tax credit. Each family’s benefit will vary based on income and family size. You can file for the EITC by phone, by computer or by completing your state and federal tax forms.
   For more information, or to find out whether you qualify, call 1-888-895-9179.

Gwendolyn L. Harris
Acting Commissioner
NJ Department of Human Services