FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVELAND, WI –
RJ Skrepenski, manager of the Neighborhood Network Learning Center at the Southfield Townhouses on South 21st Street in Manitowoc, took note when LTC's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services came to Manitowoc two years ago. The program, which offers free tax preparation and free state and federal filing for households with income up to $53,000 was held at the Lakeshore Technical College campus on Dewey Street.
"My first thought was I've got a built in audience of over 100 families on premise who are eligible for VITA services from LTC", says Skrepenski. "We also have the necessary facility with the technology to support the preparation and filing all in one location. Why not bring the program here?"
The VITA program, which is run under the oversight of the IRS and features LTC students in the Accounting program, enjoyed years of success in Sheboygan and Cleveland before expanding to Manitowoc in 2013 for the 2012 tax season. Last year, taxpayers who had their taxes prepared through the LTC VITA sites received more than $404,000 in federal income tax refunds, and an additional $177,500 in state refunds.
"According to the IRS, the refunds through the program benefit the local economy directly as most refunds are quickly spent on goods and services in the immediate area," says LTC VITA Coordinator Deborah Ryan. "Tax credits, such as the Earned Income Credit which can be in excess of $6,000 depending on family circumstances, are missed many times because filers don't realize they are eligible."
Skrepenski agrees. "Many of our residents are likely eligible for these tax credits but may not be aware. Sometimes, they may not file a return at all and miss out on funds that are due them."
About Lakeshore Technical College
Lakeshore Technical College is a leading provider of technical education offering more than 120 career programs including associate degrees, technical diplomas, technical certificates and apprenticeship programs. In addition, LTC offers distance learning, customized training to business and industry, and continuing education opportunities.
Serving a 200,500-resident population in east central Wisconsin, LTC operates a main campus in Cleveland and additional learning sites at LTC Manitowoc, LTC Sheboygan, LTC-Plymouth Science & Technology Center, and the Lakeshore Culinary Institute. The college also operates Community Education Centers at area high schools in Elkhart Lake, Cedar Grove-Belgium, Howards Grove, Kiel, Mishicot, Oostburg, Plymouth, Random Lake, Reedsville, and Two Rivers; and 27 distance learning sites. LTC's mission is to enrich lives and strengthen the economy by preparing a workforce that is skilled, diverse and flexible. On average, 87% of LTC graduates work in the LTC District which includes Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties, and parts of Calumet and Ozaukee Counties. Visit LTC at: gotoltc.edu.