MADISON (WKOW) -- Some Wisconsin families may have hard decisions to make after getting a smaller tax refund this year.
If you remember, last year's state budget made cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit. It means this year, some parents will have to pay closer attention to their own budgets, which could affect their kids now and in the future.
Tamarine Cornelius researched the issue for the Wisconsin Budget Project, part of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. She says this will affect about 140,000 families in the state.
Cornelius says cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit mean, for example, a single mother with three children who works full time will get about $500 less this year. "These families are going to have to prioritize with things like rent, food for their families and children because of the smaller refunds they're getting," she says.
Cornelius believes this could have lasting effects for families already struggling. "Families with a harder time getting by have a lot of challenges with school, health care, economically and that means down the road these families, these kids can have some long term problems," Cornelius says.
The cuts to the EITC affect parents who work, have kids, and make less than $44,000 a year.
Cornelius explains, "Families at the lower end of the income spectrum pay a higher percentage of their income in total taxes, not just income taxes; things like sales taxes and property taxes. So the tax rate acts as an offset to that. So now that this credit has been cut, they'll pay a higher percentage."