United Ways of California Statement on Final 2024-25 Budget Package - United Ways of California

United Ways of California Statement on Final 2024-25 Budget Package

Friday, June 28, 2024


Beylah R. Marks
(877) 355-8922 x16

United Ways of California Statement on Final 2024-25 Budget Package

United Ways of California, a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on improving the health, education, and financial stability of Californians, reacts to the Newsom Administration’s Final budget deal, urges state to ensure working families are protected and prioritized in the next State Budget, particularly via free tax prep, tax credits, affordable housing, and 211 infrastructure.

(Los Angeles, CA) — Statement from Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California, regarding Governor Newsom’s 2024 State Budget:

“United Ways of California remains deeply committed to our communities, the issues they face, and the policies that impact them. During a strenuous budget deficit year, we’ve been fortunate to partner with some amazing advocates, local United Way leaders, and community members with lived experience to uplift our shared issues and priorities. This work only happens thanks to dedicated individuals who take the time to voice our shared policy priorities. Acknowledging we’re moving in the right direction, we also urge the Legislature and Governor’s Administration efforts to further support uplifting California households with low incomes in the years ahead.

Our collective advocacy resulted in Trailer Bill Language to align the income thresholds (AB 167/SB 167) across the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC), and Foster Youth Tax Credit (FYTC) so the income cap for all three tax credits is the same moving forward. This technical adjustment will rectify the difference—currently $19 but increasing each year—between the CalEITC (currently $30,950) and YCTC/FYTC (currently $30,931). No longer will a technicality render families ineligible for tax credits to which they are entitled.

However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share our disappointment that funding was reduced by 50% (or $10 million) for Free Tax Preparation Assistance (including ITIN application assistance) and Outreach & Education programs. It is a missed opportunity that the Legislature’s proposal of an additional $2M for CalEITC outreach, as outlined in AB/SB 107, was not included in the final budget. We know we can do more to support our on-the-ground partners doing this good work every day. Maintaining these programs with a 50% reduction in funding moving forward (compared to the last two years) will hamper the ability of trusted messengers to reach more eligible Californians.

We understand it’s a difficult budget year, and no one feels the cut of critical state programs more than California families and households with low incomes. This is why we’ll continue advocating to fully restore funding for Free Tax Preparation Assistance and Outreach & Education programs at $20 million ongoing to be included in the 2025-26 budget and beyond. This critical community-driven outreach is focused on directly putting money back in Californians’ pockets by connecting eligible tax filers to free tax preparation help and educating families about claiming the CalEITC, YCTC, FYTC, and other state and federal credits. These tax credits allow parents and caregivers to work, improve the health of infants and mothers, boost educational outcomes and lifelong earnings for children, and are good for local economies. The CalEITC, combined with the federal EITC, is proven to be one of the strongest poverty-fighting tools in the state to support low- to middle-income working households.

“When we hear from clients and from volunteers [about how they’re using their refunds], oftentimes people are saying, ‘I’m paying bills, I’m paying rent. I’m buying food for my family.’” –Ana, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Volunteer, Santa Barbara County

“I have been able to save the money that I was paying my private tax preparer. I was able to put that in either in my savings account or put it on something else that I needed. And I have been so thankful and appreciative for those at the [VITA] program.” –Gwen, VITA Client, Fresno County

The impact of tax credits and free tax help is life-changing for many and ultimately benefits every community, every local economy, and every Californian. That’s why we’ll continue to fervently advocate alongside our partners and urge the Legislature and Governor’s Administration to restore funding for Free Tax Preparation Assistance and Outreach & Education (including ITIN application assistance) programs to $20 million.”


United Ways of California improves health, education, and financial stability for low-income families and individuals by coordinating the statewide advocacy and community impact work of California’s United Ways.

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