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House Bill 4117 gives thousands increased tax resources, simplifies filing process

PMG FILE PHOTO - Rep. Ricki RuizThe Oregon legislature passed a new bill that increases tax resource funding for underserved Oregonians.

House Bill 4117 supports rural, tribal, BIPOC, disabled and other underserved communities in better accessing tax credits they are entitled to.

"Why would we have a tax credit for those who need it most, if our tax filing system itself is difficult and frustrating to navigate," asked Rep. Ruiz, D-Gresham, who was the chief sponsor of HB 4117. "We have an obligation to bring the millions of dollars of unclaimed benefits to the pockets of Oregon families."

Passage of the bill increases the state's take of Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) to at least the national average of 79%, meaning an additional $32 million for Oregon working families.

"These families need help and this tax credit is theirs to claim," said Sen. Chris Gorsek, D-Troutdale, another chief sponsor of the bill. "This funding increases the resources for families in need, providing a tax break when they need it most."

HB 4117 requires the Department of Human Services to implement a grant program for culturally and community-based organizations, and tribal governments to increase awareness of and provide tax preparation to families who qualify for the credits.

The new bill will go into effect in early June.

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