Are you a working hero? If you live in Iowa, you could very well fit the description to be part of this new program. If you earn $15,010 a year or less you can qualify, as long as you file an income tax return.


J.D. Scholten, from Sioux City, is the state director for a startup program here in Iowa. Scholten recently announced the creation of the statewide program, which is designed to educate working families that tapping into an existing tax credit can and does help to improve their financial standing.


“This is a nonprofit organization that will promote the Earned Income Tax Credit,” he explained recently. “It is designed to encourage and reward work by supplementing the earnings of low-wage workers. It is important for those who live and work here in Iowa who qualify to receive the credit.”


Scholten explained that in California, this program has helped those who have qualified and received the tax credit over the last five years.


“The mission is for low-income workers to become their own advocate,” he said. “It has to be the best anti-poverty policy of today. Right here in Iowa, we see 25 percent, eligible recipients. There is $147 million available for this program. The average tax credit is $2,300 for Iowans who qualify.”


Scholten added that there are 200,000 Iowans who are eligible for the program. He said that the program also can offer help in other ways as well.


“This position is a good transition job for me,” told Scholten. “I took the Matthew 25 Pledge when I was running in the 2018 election against Steve King. It is meant to protect and defend the most vulnerable here in Iowa. Did you know that 60 percent of the people in Story County can’t handle a $500 emergency? We are working to find ways to help improve that percentage.”


The Working Hero Iowa is in startup mode right now.


“We are getting the program off the ground and we need to be able to reach potential recipients,” said Scholten. “We want those who can qualify for this to become their own advocates. This tax credit is designed to encourage and to reward the workers by supplementing the low wages that they are receiving. “


“Millions of dollars are being left on the table by not doing all that we can to let those who are eligible know about this state and deferral earned income tax credit,” commented Scholten.


The Working Hero Iowa works as a partner with other programs, such as AARP and United Way, to get the word out.


“I am traveling across the state to spread this message,” he added. “This is the best anti-poverty program that our government has to offer. The goal is to have this available everywhere.”


Scholten believes that every single Iowan should be able to afford basic needs, and through the Working Iowa Hero, that can be accomplished.