Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Sal Espino recently urged families who had come to get their taxes done at the Northside Community Center in Fort Worth to spread the word about the free VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) centers that are part of United Way’s EARN WELL financial stability initiative.
“Please, do me a favor and tell your family, your friends, your co-workers and everyone you know that there is free income tax assistance here,” Mayor Pro Tem Espino told the families. “This is all volunteer-driven. I want to thank the volunteers and I want to thank the United Way because they are doing this to help our families and help Fort Worth.”
The Mayor Pro Tem visited the Northside Community Center as part of the “Super Saturday VITA Kickoff” Feb. 6. The center is one of 14 VITA Free Tax Centers in Tarrant County.
Through VITA centers operated by United Way in partnership with the City of Fort Worth, Foundation Communities and Catholic Charities, almost $12 million in total refunds came back to Tarrant County families last year, including $5.2 million in Earned Income Tax Credits and $4 million in Child Tax Credits. Families using the VITA sites last year had an average annual income of $19,000.
“The numbers just really reveal the service we provide,” said Robert Munoz, a volunteer member of the United Way Income Council for the last six years. “This service is there so that individuals, especially at this income level, don’t have to go pay their hard-earned money. We’ve got a service here for them for free and we provide it in locations all over the community that are easily accessible to the individuals.” Learn more about VITA here.