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May 2016 Newsletter

RAISE Texas News

RAISE Texas Summit is Next Week: Registration has Reached Capacity!
The 2016 RAISE Texas Summit and workshops “Building Financial Success for Texans: In Schools, The Workplace and Our Communities” is finally here! Next week attendees from all across the state of Texas will be coming together to join the conversation on Financial Coaching, Children’s Savings Accounts for College, Small Dollar Loan Alternatives, and Implementing Asset-Building Products and Programs in the Workplace. We are excited to announce that registration has reached capacity so it is now closed. We are looking forward to the event and all the great conversation!

Texas News

Editorial Applauds Community Loan Center of Texas
A recent editorial in the Longview News-Journal reiterated the importance of having small dollar loan alternative programs in Texas cities, since the Texas legislature has yet to take action to regulate payday and auto-lending practices in our state. The small dollar program discussed in the editorial is the Community Loan Center (CLC) Program offered in Dallas, Houston, Brazos Valley, Waco, the Rio Grande Valley, and other locations are in the works. This employer-based small dollar loan program offers an employee a loan up to $1,000 (or half their gross monthly pay) with an 18 percent interest rate plus a $20 origination fee. The loans are paid back through payroll deductions. RAISE Texas is proud of this loan program and the thousands of loans that it has provided to Texans and we are excited that the CLC program will be featured at next week’s summit. We hope that employers in Longview and other Texas cities will someday offer this program too. Click here to read the editorial.

National News and Resources

Bipartisan Bill Boosts Financial Security for Americans at Tax Time

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced a bi-partisan bill that would enable more Americans to build emergency savings during the tax season. The Refund to Rainy Day Savings Act will:

  • Allow tax filers to set aside a portion of their refund as emergency savings for later in the year.
  • Establish a pilot program to evaluate savings matches for lower-income tax filers.
  • Amend the Assets for Independence (AFI) grants program to expand the flexibility of the program.

If Congress acts on this new legislation, millions of Americans will get the opportunity to move their financial lives forward. CFED’s The Inclusive Economy provides all of the details on this new bill. Click here.

VITA and TCE Grant Applications Now Being Accepted
For organizations interested in applying for the IRS VITA and TCE Grants this year, the application period extends from May 1 through May 31, 2016. You can find the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Grant Program Overview and Application Instructions in Publication 4671, and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program Application Package and Guidelines for Managing a TCE Program in Publication 1101. For more information or to apply for one of these grants, visit the VITA or TCE webpages.