ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



An examination by the Employment and Training Institute of state earned income tax credits received by families in Milwaukee County based on their 2009 tax returns showed the usage of the credits by working families during the recession. Wisconsin Department of Revenue data are analyzed for tax filers with dependent children who received the Wisconsin earned income tax credit. This credit offers a refundable federal tax support to help reduce payroll and social security tax burdens and to supplement wages for low and moderate income employed families and single persons. Wisconsin is one of 23 states with an earned income tax credit modeled on the federal EIC. In the 2009 tax year 44% of working age Milwaukee County families filing tax returns received the credit. In eleven ZIP codes over half of family tax filers received the credit and in three south side suburbs (Cudahy, St. Francis and South Milwaukee) a third or more of families filing tax returns received the credit. As the recession worsened, the credits aided parents in low-wage jobs as well as many who were forced into lay-offs or unable to find full-time year-round work.