Figures for the just completed tax year were released Wednesday at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program’s Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. Volunteer tax preparers and supporters of the tax program learned that more than 16,100 tax returns were filed this season, up more than 5% from last year. Those returns brought back more than $15.3-million in tax refunds and credits to local residents.
SDC CEO George Hinton thanked the gathered tax preparers for their important work in helping the Milwaukee area community. Tommie Jones representing the Wisconsin Department of Revenue echoed that saying “You have changed the lives of thousands of individuals because of the good work that you do.”
SDC Asset Development Manager LaToya Jones reminded those in attendance that the tax program was more than just about numbers. She said that they have an impact on real people as she read several stories about residents who used the program. She told about a young Milwaukee man Mario who said as he got his taxes done at the SDC Chase Avenue site during Super Saturday that he was saving his refund to help buy his first home. She noted he was then able to talk on-site with a representative from Housing Resources who was participating in the Super Saturday to learn how he could make that dream a reality.
During the wrap-up meeting, VITA volunteers learned that banking partners in the coalition signed up during the season more than 300 residents for new bank accounts and that 171 persons had taken part in ten financial workshops held in conjunction with the tax preparation services. In its 13 year history, the free tax service has filed more than 149,000 tax returns that have returned more than $162-million in tax refunds and credits to the Milwaukee area economy.
To learn more about the tax effort, visit the SDC website located at www.cr-sdc.org/index/Programs–Services/VITA.htm.