Who Receives the Working Family Credit?

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Updated January 2017

Minnesota’s Working Family Tax Credit encourages and supports work, makes the tax system more equitable, and helps working people across the state to meet their basic needs and support their families. In 2014, about 346,000 households received the Working Family Credit, which is more than 12 percent of all households who file income taxes.[1] The impact of the Working Family Credit is especially strong in Greater Minnesota, where 13.8 percent of tax-filing households receive the Working Family Credit, compared to 11.8 percent in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. In 12 Greater Minnesota counties, at least one in six households receive the Working Family Credit.

More than half of all states, including Minnesota, have credits like the Working Family Credit that are based on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and build on the EITC’s documented success in supporting work, reducing poverty, and improving the health and education of children.[3] Children in households receiving the EITC are also more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.[4] Because these credits are received once a year, after a family files their taxes, many families use their credits to secure a stronger financial future by building their savings or reducing debt.

Table showing working family credit parameters for tax year 2016Minnesota’s Working Family Credit is calculated based on a family’s earnings and family size, and it can only be claimed by people with earnings from work. Families with two or more children qualify for larger credits on average and households with no dependent children qualify for much less. The Working Family Credit offsets a portion of the significant state and local taxes that low- and moderate-income people pay. Even when including the Working Family Credit, on average, lower-income Minnesota households pay around 11 percent or more of their incomes in state and local taxes; that's a larger percentage than what the highest-income Minnesotans pay in Minnesota taxes.[5]

The table below provides information about the importance of the Working Family Credit to each Minnesota county and the state as a whole. Overall, 48 percent of Minnesota households receiving the credit live in Greater Minnesota and 52 percent live in the Twin Cities metro area.

Working Family Credits Received by County of Residence, Tax Year 2014[6]

Aitkin
Total Working Family Credits Received: $800,724
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,083
Average Credit: $739
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Anoka
Total Working Family Credits Received: $14,528,973
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 18,885
Average Credit: $769
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Becker
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,702,104
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,220
Average Credit: $767
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Beltrami
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,491,661
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,236
Average Credit: $770
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 18%

Benton
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,138,044
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,914
Average Credit: $734
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Big Stone
Total Working Family Credits Received: $208,471
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 265
Average Credit: $787
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Blue Earth
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,762,031
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 4,142
Average Credit: $667
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Brown
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,143,781
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,574
Average Credit: $727
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Carlton
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,570,113
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,227
Average Credit: $705
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Carver
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,177,315
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,103
Average Credit: $702
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 7%

Cass
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,614,719
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,131
Average Credit: $758
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Chippewa
Total Working Family Credits Received: $672,082
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 862
Average Credit: $780
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Chisago
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,991,438
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,762
Average Credit: $721
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Clay
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,454,970
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,339
Average Credit: $735
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Clearwater
Total Working Family Credits Received: $456,381
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 584
Average Credit: $781
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Cook
Total Working Family Credits Received: $208,146
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 323
Average Credit: $644
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Cottonwood
Total Working Family Credits Received: $630,928
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 793
Average Credit: $796
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Crow Wing
Total Working Family Credits Received: $3,531,451
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 4,788
Average Credit: $738
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Dakota
Total Working Family Credits Received: $15,090,298
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 19,958
Average Credit: $756
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 10%

Dodge
Total Working Family Credits Received: $833,942
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,079
Average Credit: $773
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Douglas
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,527,000
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,181
Average Credit: $700
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Faribault
Total Working Family Credits Received: $777,901
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,017
Average Credit: $765
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Fillmore
Total Working Family Credits Received: $913,169
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,197
Average Credit: $763
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Freeborn
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,797,854
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,384
Average Credit: $754
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Goodhue
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,771,915
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,476
Average Credit: $716
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Grant
Total Working Family Credits Received: $258,966
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 354
Average Credit: $732
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Hennepin
Total Working Family Credits Received: $52,138,114
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 69,163
Average Credit: $754
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Houston
Total Working Family Credits Received: $704,373
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,008
Average Credit: $699
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Hubbard
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,104,140
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,506
Average Credit: $733
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 17%

Isanti
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,827,712
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,405
Average Credit: $760
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Itasca
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,207,208
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,026
Average Credit: $729
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Jackson
Total Working Family Credits Received: $495,248
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 664
Average Credit: $746
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Kanabec
Total Working Family Credits Received: $918,083
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,252
Average Credit: $733
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 18%

Kandiyohi
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,767,220
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,420
Average Credit: $809
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 17%

Kittson
Total Working Family Credits Received: $154,438
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 196
Average Credit: $788
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 10%

Koochiching
Total Working Family Credits Received: $694,806
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 976
Average Credit: $712
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 17%

Lac Qui Parle
Total Working Family Credits Received: $274,246
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 383
Average Credit: $716
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Lake
Total Working Family Credits Received: $446,902
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 607
Average Credit: $736
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Lake of the Woods
Total Working Family Credits Received: $213,065
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 304
Average Credit: $701
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Le Sueur
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,199,707
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,557
Average Credit: $771
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Lincoln
Total Working Family Credits Received: $222,565
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 314
Average Credit: $709
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Lyon
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,376,166
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,699
Average Credit: $810
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

McLeod
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,619,328
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,205
Average Credit: $734
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Mahnomen
Total Working Family Credits Received: $264,192
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 337
Average Credit: $784
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 17%

Marshall
Total Working Family Credits Received: $362,015
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 476
Average Credit: $761
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Martin
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,141,733
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,572
Average Credit: $726
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Meeker
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,028,684
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,304
Average Credit: $789
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Mille Lacs
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,435,513
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,851
Average Credit: $776
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Morrison
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,819,774
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,483
Average Credit: $733
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 17%

Mower
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,500,771
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,157
Average Credit: $792
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 18%

Murray
Total Working Family Credits Received: $364,959
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 451
Average Credit: $809
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Nicollet
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,303,039
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,922
Average Credit: $678
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Nobles
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,421,268
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,712
Average Credit: $830
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 18%

Norman
Total Working Family Credits Received: $357,750
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 420
Average Credit: $852
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Olmsted
Total Working Family Credits Received: $6,507,717
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 8,364
Average Credit: $778
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Otter Tail
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,843,728
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,864
Average Credit: $736
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Pennington
Total Working Family Credits Received: $736,611
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 949
Average Credit: $776
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Pine
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,636,179
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,123
Average Credit: $771
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 18%

Pipestone
Total Working Family Credits Received: $492,016
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 619
Average Credit: $795
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Polk
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,523,589
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,979
Average Credit: $770
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Pope
Total Working Family Credits Received: $422,262
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 608
Average Credit: $695
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Ramsey
Total Working Family Credits Received: $33,465,629
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 40,112
Average Credit: $834
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 16%

Red Lake
Total Working Family Credits Received: $184,098
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 235
Average Credit: $783
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Redwood
Total Working Family Credits Received: $804,562
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 996
Average Credit: $808
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Renville
Total Working Family Credits Received: $748,516
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 978
Average Credit: $765
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Rice
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,905,557
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 3,684
Average Credit: $789
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Rock
Total Working Family Credits Received: $397,125
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 515
Average Credit: $771
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

Roseau
Total Working Family Credits Received: $807,213
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,041
Average Credit: $775
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

St. Louis
Total Working Family Credits Received: $8,165,193
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12,149
Average Credit: $672
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Scott
Total Working Family Credits Received: $4,466,981
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 5,701
Average Credit: $784
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 9%

Sherburne
Total Working Family Credits Received: $3,413,519
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 4,446
Average Credit: $768
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Sibley
Total Working Family Credits Received: $707,809
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 900
Average Credit: $786
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Stearns
Total Working Family Credits Received: $7,277,323
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 9,596
Average Credit: $758
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Steele
Total Working Family Credits Received: $2,036,512
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,537
Average Credit: $803
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 14%

Stevens
Total Working Family Credits Received: $274,215
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 402
Average Credit: $682
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 10%

Swift
Total Working Family Credits Received: $451,827
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 588
Average Credit: $768
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Todd
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,320,579
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,759
Average Credit: $751
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 17%

Traverse
Total Working Family Credits Received: $166,066
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 206
Average Credit: $806
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Wabasha
Total Working Family Credits Received: $864,926
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,180
Average Credit: $733
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 11%

Wadena
Total Working Family Credits Received: $844,138
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,134
Average Credit: $744
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 20%

Waseca
Total Working Family Credits Received: $946,025
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 1,258
Average Credit: $752
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 15%

Washington
Total Working Family Credits Received: $7,303,458
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 10,038
Average Credit: $728
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 9%

Watonwan
Total Working Family Credits Received: $682,581
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 823
Average Credit: $829
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 17%

Wilkin
Total Working Family Credits Received: $271,790
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 354
Average Credit: $768
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Winona
Total Working Family Credits Received: $1,755,665
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 2,734
Average Credit: $642
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Wright
Total Working Family Credits Received: $4,333,492
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 5,961
Average Credit: $727
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 10%

Yellow Medicine
Total Working Family Credits Received: $475,271
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 643
Average Credit: $739
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 13%

Undesignated/Other
Total Working Family Credits Received: $12,485,323
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 25,135
Average Credit: $497
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 9%

TOTAL
Total Working Family Credits Received: $256,134,891
Number of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 345,858
Average Credit: $741
Percent of Households Receiving the Working Family Credit: 12%

By Nan Madden and Ben Horowitz

 

[1] Minnesota Department of Revenue, Tax Year 2014 Minnesota Income Tax Statistics by County. In this analysis, the number of households refers to the number of tax returns.
[2] Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2016 Minnesota Individual Income Tax Forms and Instructions.
[3] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Basics: State Earned Income Tax Credits, June 2016.
[4] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and Support Children’s Development, Research Finds, October 2015.
[5] Projected data for 2017; Minnesota Department of Revenue, 2015 Minnesota Tax Incidence Study, March 2015.
[6] Minnesota Department of Revenue, Tax Year 2014 Minnesota Income Tax Statistics by County.

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