2012 Poverty Level Tables Now on the WCCF Website
It May Be Ground Hog Day for the Homestead Credit, But Not for Other Benefits
We noted earlier in the week that the Wisconsin Homestead Tax Credit is no longer being adjusted to reflect increases in the cost of living. Over the last two decades the maximum Homestead credit has remained virtually unchanged (except for tax year 2010), and the frozen formula means that a person living solely on a Social Security benefit could expect a Homestead Credit in 1991 with a value (in current dollars) more than two and a half times as large as the 2011 credit. To put it a little differently, for the past twenty years almost every day has been Ground Hog Day – with Bill Murray waking up to the same Homestead Credit formula (yet a steadily eroding credit).
Fortunately, it isn’t Ground Hog Day for other public benefits, which are typically adjusted each year to reflect changes in the cost of living. That’s because eligibility for benefits like BadgerCare, child care subsidies, Food Share and W-2 are all tied to the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines, better known as the “federal poverty level.”
Late last week the federal government issued the 2012 guidelines. WCCF has used those guidelines to create updated tables showing the federal poverty level (FPL) for different sized families and the income level corresponding to various percentages of the FPL, marking key eligibility or cost-sharing standards for various benefit programs. In addition, we translate those annual income figures into monthly and hourly amounts.
Read more about the new guidelines in yesterday’s WCCF Blog post, or see the new tables on the WCCF website: Tables for Annual, Monthly and Hourly Earnings at Various Percentages of the Poverty Level.