Council members in Montgomery County passed a bill that may signal that the economy there is back to pre-recession levels.
The bill passed unanimously today gradually increases the county's "Working Family's Income Supplement."
Councilman Hans Riemer says it's an earned income tax credit, and Montgomery County is one of the few local governments in the county that offers them.
"We piggyback on the federal and Maryland-state EITC," Riemer says. "It reduces the tax burden our lowest-income workers pay. It gives them a cash refund at the end of the year."
Three years ago, at the height of the recession, the county council slashed the credit amid budget woes, meaning it would no longer match both the federal and state credits at 100 percent. This bill does not get to the 100 percent level for another three fiscal years, but the fact that it passed with full support and no controversy means something, according to Riemer.
"Most of the services in the county have been restored from their cuts at the bottom of the recession. Except this one," Reimer says. "So we are about back to where we were years ago. We're not passed that point."
To be eligible for this tax credit, a family of four with two children and at least one working adult must earn less than $48,000 annually.