Shumlin's plan to pay for child care sparks criticism - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin's plan to pay for child care sparks criticism

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Advocates for low-income Vermonters like Gov. Peter Shumlin's call for increased child care subsidies, but they don't like the way he wants to pay for the program.

In his inaugural address last week, Shumlin proposed helping working families pay their child care bills by taking $17 million from the state portion of the Earned Income Tax Credit-- a tax relief program that benefits low-income residents.

Critics say Shumlin's proposal won't be of much benefit to low-income people if it simply takes money out of one pocket and puts it in another.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit is really the most important anti-poverty program we have in the country and in the state. To divert money from that fund and take it away from those people in need really amounts to a tax on about 40,000 Vermonters and those are the folks who are least able to pay," said Sen. Anthony Pollina, P-Washington County.

Shumlin counters that paying out child care subsidies throughout the year will help low-income families budget and re-incentivize stay-at-home parents to enter the workforce.

Pollina counters that the administration doesn't know how many of those losing tax benefits even have children.

A clearer financial picture will materialize following the governor's budget address.

Related Stories:

Vt. families struggle with soaring child care costs

Gov. Shumlin pushes education in State of the State address

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