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National League of Cities Honors Louisville for Asset-Building Efforts

Thursday September 15, 2005

National League of Cities Honors Louisville for Asset-Building Efforts

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today the National League of Cities (NLC) has chosen Louisville as one of nine cities across the country recognized for encouraging residents to break the cycle of poverty through participation in asset-building initiatives.
 
The city was recognized for its three-year partnership with the Louisville Asset Building Coalition (LABC), in particular the Earned Income Tax Credit campaign. The partnership offered free tax help for residents and workshops about applying for the credit

. A family of four with an income of about $35,000 a year is eligible for a $4,000 tax credit. “In the past, millions of dollars in tax refunds have been left on the table. These overpaid federal income taxes could and should be returned to our residents and reinvested in our community,” said Abramson.

Since the program launched in 2001, the city and the LABC have assisted more than 7,000 residents with tax preparation, resulting in almost $11 million in federal income-tax refunds.
 
“These dollars are so important to our community. This money, for hundreds of families, is the difference between accumulating more debt or starting a savings account,” said Abramson.
 
Several city employees and members of the LABC will be able to participate in the NLC’s 16-month technical assistance project, Cities Helping Families Build Assets. Local program leaders will visit other cities with successful asset-building initiatives to learn their “best practices” and attend workshops about homeownership counseling and savings account campaigns.

“This national recognition and the opportunity to participate in this project will allow us to expand and improve current financial literacy initiatives,” said Abramson.

The NLC project is made possible by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Louisville joins Burlington, Vt; Durham, N.C.; Grayson, Okla.; Itta Bena, Miss; Milwaukee, Wis.; Orlando, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; and Seattle in receiving this national recognition.

The NLC is America’s oldest and largest national organization for cities. It is a resource advocate for 18,000 cities, town and villages that collectively serve 225 million people.