Reforming the Tax Code to be more equitable for all and build a more inclusive economy (Action Agenda Priority)
- Maintain and expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to ensure young adults, those under 25, and seniors over 65 have access to the EITC. It would be a key support to hard working low- and moderate-income families to have financial security.
- Change the Mortgage Interest Deduction to a Tax Credit to ensure that low- and moderate-income homeowners are also able to benefit from the Interest deduction and achieve the American Dream.
- Create a Federal Renters Credit, particularly applicable in "hot market" cities to ensure that low- income renters pay no more than 30% of income toward rent with an income eligibility of 60% of the local median income.
- Increase in the tax rate on capital gains as well as taxing in the same manner as ordinary income.
- Remove the cap on social security payroll tax.
- Allow ITIN holders to access EITC as they do the Child Tax Credit.
- Support tax code changes to encourage and incentivize employer-linked savings and SU retirement savings such as myRA, and make the Saver’s credit refundable. Turning the credit into a matching contribution to the account would provide a greater incentive to save for low-income families, including Earned Income Tax Credit recipients.
Support small businesses, micro-enterprises, and the self-employed so that they can access capital, pilot innovation, and create high quality jobs (Action Agenda Priority)
- Change the VITA scope: Eligibility should be based on annual business revenues rather than the current annual expenses of $5,000. This would help many small businesses across the country. Currently, many are forced to go to private tax providers who do not file taxes correctly, which prevents them from being approved for credit.
- Expand the SBA micro-loan, SBA Community Advantage, and the CDFI programs: Mainstream banks will not give loans below $50,000 to the most innovative job creators. Include low-income AAPI populations as a priority for CDFI investments so that they can access capital to continue to grow and increase job creation.
- Invest in linguistically and culturally appropriate training and resources for micro-entrepreneurs that create jobs in neighborhoods, not just high tech fields.
- Create incentives for the development of affordable commercial spaces for micro-entrepreneurs to pilot innovation.
- Modernize the Community Reinvestment Act to include business lending and investment services to micro-businesses.
- Increase access to lower-interest rate products through an expanded SBA microloan program.
- Produce more frequent and disaggregated data on business lending among small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs.
- Increase tax assistance resources for low- to- moderate income (LMI) entrepreneurs through improving the EITC, creating a New Entrepreneur Tax Credit, and ensuring the VITA program remains available to all low- to moderate- income entrepreneurs.
- Expand funding for Minority Business Development Centers.
Promotion of secure, stable jobs with livable wages and benefits
- Pass comprehensive immigration reform and establish repatriation agreements for deportees of Southeast Asia.
- Raise the minimum wage.
- Phase in minimum wage requirements for small businesses.
- Establish universal paid Family and Sick Leave.
- Authorize and appropriate funding through the Department of Labor for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) to provide training and placement programs in partnership with community-based organizations working with culturally isolated and underserved communities.
- Expand the Workforce Innovation Fund.
Protection and expansion of social safety net programs
- Reformulate the Federal Poverty Rate: The current calculation does not accurately capture true levels of economic need because, among other problems, it does not account for a variety of different income sources nor for local variations in the cost of living. A more accurate approach - the U.S. Census's Supplemental Poverty Measure - is a good step in the right direction. A more accurate approach, however, would align with a living wage based on local costs and be tied to factors such as cost of child care.
- Increase access to safety net programs through the lifting of asset limits on SNAP, TANF and LIHEAP.
- Lift asset limits on SSI to offer greater flexibility to families and preserve states’ flexibility to waive asset limits.
- Ensure Medicaid -eligibility regardless of immigration status.
- Issue new guidance for federal agencies on use of the federal poverty rate and other measures in creation of new programs to combat poverty.
- Preserve Social Security.
Access to linguistically and culturally appropriate information and support services
- Expand the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).
- Improve VITA program model to include increased support for partnership with local community based organizations – particularly in linguistically and culturally isolated communities.
- Provide low-and-moderate income individuals, families, and communities of color with opportunities to access tax benefits at little or no cost through expansion of programs.
- Authorize and appropriate funding of a full scale program based on the Family Financial Services pilot.
- Invest in education and outreach of EITC eligibility among citizens of Compact of Free Association (COFA) states.
Protection from predatory practices and products:
- Support a strong and effective Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
- Ensure consumers who have been impacted by predatory lending are not additionally penalized by reductions in credit ratings and are not adversely affected in their credit reports and scores.
- Support and enforce policies that encourage greater transparency regarding fees.
- Establish an ability to repay standard and minimum loan terms.
- Support the creation of a new and more transparent system to evaluate credit risk that integrates alternative risk profiles such as rental, utility, and child care payments that prove a borrower’s credit worthiness.
Investment in secure and culturally appropriate financial products and strategies to promote savings and access to credit
- Expand investment in Individual Development Accounts to promote savings and asset building for all income levels
- Increase ability of consumers to use alternative forms of identification to access financial services.
- Improve data collection to better understand consumer access and usage
Reformulate the Federal Poverty Rate
Maintain and expanded the current calculation does not accurately capture true levels of economic need because, among other problems, it does not account for a variety of different income sources nor for local variations in the cost of living. A more accurate approach - the U.S. Census's Supplemental Poverty Measure - is a good step in the right direction. A more accurate approach, however, would align with a living wage based on local costs and be tied to factors such as cost of child care.