For Economic Stabilization Amidst Suburban Poverty: Maximize the Earned Income Tax Credit

The diffuse structure of suburbs makes it more efficient, according to this Brooking Institution post, to invest in individuals rather than places to fight poverty.

1 minute read

November 25, 2015, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Natalie Holmes and Alan Berube explains some of the implications of a shifting geography of poverty—from urban to suburban—and its connections to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Now that the geography of poverty is shifting, according to the article, so too will the role of the EITC. Moreover, the article also explains "how expanding participation in the program and paying the credit differently could enhance its effectiveness as a local economic stabilizer."

The article establishes the historical context for the War on Poverty, dating back to 1964, when poverty was mostly urban and rural. Poverty in suburban settings, however, will make place-based initiatives harder to achieve. Therefore, direct investments in low-income individuals, such as the EITC, will become more important.

That's not to say that the EITC fails to benefit a broader definition of community, according to the post. California State University researchers cited in the article found evidence that "the credit creates local economic impacts equivalent to at least twice the amount of EITC dollars received" in California counties. Other examples of the community and multi-generational benefits of the EITC are included in the article.

The article concludes with additional recommendations for how to maximize the EITC as an anti-poverty tool in suburban settings.

Friday, November 20, 2015 in Brookings

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

Diagram of visibility at urban intersection.

How ‘Daylighting’ Intersections Can Save Lives

Eliminating visual obstructions can make intersections safer for all users.

November 27, 2023 - Strong Towns

Green painted bike lane protected by rown of parking.

Oklahoma City Begins Work on Parking-Protected Bike Lane

The project is part of the city’s broader plan to improve bike and pedestrian infrastructure and road safety.

32 minutes ago - The Oklahoman

Blurred dense crowd of people with no recognizable faces walking in a busy city.

How Cities Can Avoid Perpetuating Segregation

Residents of big cities, known as the ‘melting pots’ of America, have fewer interactions with people outside their socioeconomic group than those in smaller communities, according to new research.

1 hour ago - Stanford News

Rows of solar panels on a large rooftop with office or industrial buildings in background.

US Building Emissions are Growing

Green building standards and efficiency retrofits are not keeping up with energy demand, resulting in a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

2 hours ago - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.