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Monthly News From Auburn Gresham's Free Tax Site Partner

Vol 1 Issue 10

The Big Picture

While it is easy to get distracted by the tweet of the week or the latest drama in Washington, if you care about the lives of working families this is a time to keep a close watch on things that matter. When it comes to financial stability and closing the racial wealth gap, major policy changes are taking effect that will impact the communities we serve. That's why CEP is actively engaged in advocating for reforms that benefit those communities, and in fighting against regressive policies. This month we are focused on two changes that will greatly affect the financial lives of our clients.

Tax Reform

The current tax “reform” efforts in Congress are better described as tax “cuts.” While proponents argue that the tax cuts will help the middle class, some middle class families may end up with a higher tax bill. The so-called cuts also increase the lowest tax rate, which may not be offset by the proposed doubling of the standard deduction—particularly among families who lose exemptions for children.

The shortfalls of proposed tax reform don’t end there. Even if low- and middle-income families are not subject to tax increases, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans can indirectly hurt these families by overwhelming the federal budget and leading to cuts to programs like SNAP, Pell Grants, Medicaid, and the ACA, from which they benefit. Reforms that would truly lessen the tax burden on Americans who need it the most include expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, for which CEP will continue to fight.

Don’t Miss


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new rule earlier this month that protects consumers against debt trap lending, including payday loans, car title loans, and certain high-cost installment loans. The rule requires that lenders make a “reasonable determination that the consumer will have the ability to repay the loan,” helping to curb the predatory practice of lending to borrowers who will be unable to repay their debt, and who will incur outrageous fines and interest charges in high-cost lending schemes.

While the rule is a crucial step in protecting vulnerable consumers, it does not cover certain costly longer-term loans that may still pose a threat. Furthermore, the rule may not be fully enacted for almost two years, and may be subject to interpretation and political challenge. CEP is committed to both supporting this reform and continuing to push for greater financial protections for consumers.

Volunteer Info Sessions

Everything we do is made possible or improved thanks to the help of volunteers. CEP provides all the training and support you need to build useful new skills and make a difference in people's lives as a Tax Preparer, Tax Site Specialist or Savings Coach. Some of our most dedicated and effective volunteers are clients as well. If you are interested in measurably impacting the financial lives of individuals, join us for an information session to learn how you can help. See a list of upcoming sessions below.


Remember to check out to connect with CEP. The IRS has a new video which  also offers helpful background on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  program.

News and Events

Learn more about volunteering with CEP! RSVP for one of several  information sessions for potential volunteers scheduled for the next month: 10/25/17 from 6pm-7:30pm and 11/18/17 from 10am-11:30am at CEP’s offices, 567 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL, and 11/1/17 from 6pm-7:30pm at Waubonsee Community College, 18 S. River Street, Aurora, IL. Or contact and let us know you’re interested.

Progress on the Go: Join CEP for Credit Building 101 and Free Credit Reviews on our Progress on the Go bus! We will be at 411 Madison St, Maywood, IL on 10/28/17 from 10am-3pm, and at St. Adalbert's Church (Pilsen), 1650 W 17th St, Chicago, IL on 11/4/17 from 10am-3pm. See our schedule for more info.

Keywords: Auburn Grehsam, Center for Economic Progress, Free Tax Preparation, Tax Reform

Posted in Business News, Community Highlights