Inappopriate for governor to be emailing people reminders about federal earned income credit

Governor Napolitano is emailing people reminding them about the federal earned income tax credit. This is the credit for people whose income is so low they don’t pay any federal taxes – yet they can get this free extra money. It’s a terrible fiscal policy since it rewards people who work less. And since you have to apply for it, most of the people who probably really could use it don’t know about it. When my spouse and I were in college, we took advantage of it. It’s not like we needed it, we were living on student loans and working part time, we’re middle class people who would have gotten along perfectly well without it.

She also reminds people about the new federal stimulus rebate – again another bad giveaway that has nothing to do with her state-level office.

The governor is just using this as an excuse to remind voters about more free money from the government to make herself look good, sort of like Santa Claus. This credit has nothing to do with her, it’s on the federal level. She shouldn’t be wasting state resources on emails like this which do little except promote her. What’s to stop members of the Corporation Commission from sending out messages about the earned income tax credit? The state treasurer? Legislators? The sheriff? You see how this could be carried to an absurd level if others engaged in this self-promotion – I can imagine having my email inbox bombarded by electeds. The purpose of the governor’s office is not to promote federal programs.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008Dear Friends,

I wanted to take a minute to remind Arizonans of certain tax credit programs that you may be eligible to take advantage of even if you didn’t earn enough last year to normally be required to file a tax return.

For example, low-income Arizonans can file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. The EITC is a federal refundable tax credit available to working, low-income individuals and families. The credit can be worth thousands of dollars and can boost a family income by as much as 35 percent.

To qualify, a taxpayer must meet certain rules and file a tax return – but many Arizonans don’t even know about the credit because they don’t earn enough money to require filing a return. If you, or someone you know, may qualify, you can use the contact resources included below to find out more information.

Also remember that earlier this year, the U.S. Congress passed a nationwide economic stimulus package that includes a federal tax rebate for many people. The rebate is between $300 and $600 for a single taxpayer, and between $600 and $1,200 for a married couple. Even if you didn’t earn enough money last year to be required to file a federal tax return, you need to file a return to get the rebate.
For instance, if you earned certain benefits last year from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs or earned Social Security, you may be eligible, but you need to file a tax return. Nobody will have to pay taxes on the money from the economic stimulus rebate, and if you receive Social Security or veterans benefits, it won’t affect the level of your benefits down the road.
If you have any questions about any of these rebates, there are free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites around the state that have helped qualified Arizonans recoup millions of dollars in this kind of tax credit. If you think you – or someone you know – may be eligible, I encourage you to call (602) 263-8856 or 1-800-352-3792, or visit It’s important that all Arizonans get the rebates and tax credits that are intended for them.
As always, feel free to call my office at 602-542-1318 if you have questions or thoughts. Or, please visit our Web site at for information and news in state government.Yours very truly,    

Janet Napolitano


  1. Both conservative and liberal economists agree that the earned income tax credit is an important step in reducing poverty.

  2. SonoranSam says

    You guys are reaching far beyond your grasp of the facts.

    You’re attempting to conflate this email – which carries a minimal cost to taxpayers – with Andrew Thomas’ huge expenditure on a slick newspaper insert, and maybe Sheriff Joe’s $30,000 investment in fighting crime in Central American resort communities.

    It just doesn’t wash.

  3. Boredinaz says

    And what’s wrong with the state’s chief executive trying to bring back to this state more of the federal taxes we pay?

    Isn’t Arizona one of the states that pays more than it gets back from the feds? If so, we should be letting Arizonans know that they can bring more of that money back into our economy instead of sending it to Alaska to build bridges to nowhere.

  4. Iris Lynch says

    So that tax money can then be sent to Mexico? Remember it is the non-taxpaying person/’family’ that gets this windfall. Since Americans will not live 20 to a residence, Americans find it hard to live on $6.00 an hour.

  5. Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

    This site seems to specialize in demonizing people: Hispanics, Muslims, liberals, gays and lesbians, and now poor people. Eventually there will be few people you haven’t demonized and there won’t be a majority to vote for the candidates you prefer.

    In these difficult economic times for many working people, it seems so mean-spirited to begrudge poor people what they are legally due. And sad. And typical.

Leave a Reply