Tax season is a critical financial empowerment moment for millions of families and individuals across the country. Each year, the tax season is a moment where filers are thinking about their finances; for filers with low and moderate incomes, tax season usually also means receiving a large lump sum in the form of a tax refund, often bolstered by the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In addition, EITC-eligible filers can access free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) from trained professionals. This brief details why city leaders are investing in tax time initiatives, provides details on how these programs operate, and highlights how cities have gotten started doing this critical work.
Nearly 10 million people exit local, state, and federal prison each year after completing their incarceration. Given the high rates of recidivism, the cost of incarceration, and the impact of incarceration on families, many city partners have begun testing financial empowerment strategies to help improve safe and successful reentry. This brief details the various strategies our city partners have taken to integrate financial empowerment into core social services, to support the formerly incarcerated reentering the community, and to achieve the “Supervitamin Effect” to boost programmatic outcomes.
Across the country, a number of local governments are increasing the availability of youth savings opportunities for families, with the goal of improving the likelihood that students of limited means enroll and persist in higher education. This brief details why city leaders are investing in youth savings initiatives, provides details on how these programs operate, and highlights how cities have gotten started doing this critical work.
Across the country, many local leaders have launched Offices of Financial Empowerment (OFEs) or similar municipal offices that serve as a home for financial empowerment programming efforts. This brief details why municipal leaders have invested in this critical work, outlines the work of OFEs, and highlights how a number of cities launched their OFEs.