MDRC Selected to Implement and Evaluate Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion in New York City

The New York City Center for Economic Opportunity has selected MDRC to implement and evaluate a pilot program to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income single workers without dependent children, with the goal of increasing employment and earnings. The $11-million, four-year pilot will offer up to $2,000 a year over a three-year period to participants with earnings up to $26,800 per year, with the maximum payment being made to those with earnings between $6,667 and $14,300. 

Considered the largest and most successful antipoverty program in the United States, the federal EITC, which supplements the earnings of families by as much as $6,000 a year, has significantly increased income among low-income families, lifting 6.6 million people out of poverty nationally in 2011 alone and contributing to substantial increases in employment among single mothers. But the federal EITC for single tax-filers, which is capped at a maximum payment amount of only $487, is much less generous and as a result less effective at increasing employment and reducing poverty. Research indicates that for single workers an enhanced EITC could potentially increase employment and incomes by as much as 10 percent. 

The pilot in New York City will feature a total of 6,000 participants, with 3,000 eligible to receive the expanded credit and 3,000 forming a control group. Sample enrollment will begin this fall. 

MDRC will oversee the implementation and evaluation of the pilot program with its partners, Decision Information Services and Food Bank for New York City.