Local radio show Chico NOW! hosted our very own Stephanie Powell and Tim Hawkins to discuss the VITA program. Every tax season Butte CAA collaborates with the Chico State Business Dept. to help households that make less than $54,000 a year file their taxes for free! This not only helps local residents get their hard-earned money back, but it also has a benefit to the local economy when that money is spent at local businesses. Let's see what Stephanie and Tim have to say about it...
What Does VITA Stand For?
VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. This program exists as an ongoing partnership between us, The Butte CAA, and Chico State's College of Business Accounting Department. We help file returns to those persons who make under $54,000 a year. We've operated this program since 2008 in the community and we partner with Chico State's accounting department to provide qualified student volunteers to help complete your tax returns for free.Read More
According to Prosperity Now "40% of American households lack a basic level of savings" and could not afford "to live at the poverty level for three months if their income was interrupted." That's a staggering number of families at risk.
In a recent article by Wes Moore, of the NYC nonprofit Robin Hood, he highlights the dilemma that many of us in community action have been addressing for some time; that millions of families and children are at high risk of an unexpected expense, a layoff, a medical emergency or a missed paycheck pushing them into the ranks of poverty. Solutions require partners and commitment to change. We have selected highlights form the article below, you can read the full article by clicking here.
According to comprehensive new data from the Prosperity Now Scorecard, a staggering 40 percent of American households live one missed paycheck away from poverty. That population of proud, hardworking Americans who we used to call the great American middle class are one unexpected expense, one layoff, one medical emergency, one missed paycheck, one government shutdown away from poverty.
For generations, poverty in American has been a persistent plague on our society. What the data and the realities in communities are showing us now is that we're on the verge of it becoming a permanent inescapable reality.
Since the tragedy of the Camp Fire rocked Butte County and surrounding areas, our North State Food Bank has been in full swing, getting food to people in need. This is not a short-term relief effort by an means. With people displaced from their homes and no certain timeline for returning, the need for support for the North State Food Bank remains high.
What Have We Accomplished So Far?
Thanks to the generosity of this community as well as outside donors, our North State Food Bank has distributed 93,000 pounds of food for Camp Fire relief efforts in collaboration with Grassroots Alliance. Community support continues to come in, recently the North State Food Bank received a generous donation from Golden State Farm Credit and several sister Farm Credit agencies from California and other states in the amount of $51,500 for Camp Fire relief. What an amazing gift! In response to this generous donation our CEO, Tom Tenorio had this to say.
We're thankful for the support of our local agriculture and ranching communities whose continued collaboration with our CAA North State Food Bank ensures that our community members have access to healthy, nutritious food.
-Tom Tenorio, CEO of Butte CAA
Want FREE help with your tax preparation?
Did your household earn less than $54,000 in 2018?
You are in luck! Starting Monday, February 4, 2019 and continuing until April 6th, 2019 you can head on over to one of the locations in Butte County, listed below, to get free help filing your 2018 Federal and State income taxes. Last year we filed over 1,200 returns for over $1 Million in refunds!
The VITA program exists as an ongoing partnership between Butte CAA and Chico State. Planning for the VITA program got off to a late start this year due to the Camp Fire. Chico State found themselves with only one of the two desired student directors and underfunded to pay for the second. Butte CAA stepped in and provided $2500 to Chico State, which enables us to have a full VITA program this year. Dr. Tim Kizirian, head of the Accounting Department of the College of Business at Chico State expressed his gratitude saying, "with the $2500 from your outreach, we can have a paid second director for this VITA season and hopefully have the same impact as last year. THANK YOU, this is an amazing surprise!" He even went on to say "CAA saved the day!"
We are so excited to have the program running at full strength again this year. If you meet the income qualifications, here's the next steps to take:
When you are planning your time, keep in mind that both spouses must be present if filing joint tax return.
Steps to take:
- Check the VITA schedule for the current year
- Choose the location that fits your needs (See below)
- Check the times or make an appointment if necessary
- Collect all necessary documents needed to complete your tax return (see below)
The Community Action Agency Butte County, Inc. (CAA) was pleased to announce that the Sustainable Futures Fund has contributed $30,000 to the CAA’s Camp Fire Disaster Relief Fund and another $30,000 to the CAA’s North State Food Bank (NSFB) for the coming year. NSFB collects and distributes healthy food to thousands of food insecure families throughout their North State service area that includes Butte, Glenn, Colusa, Plumas, Sierra and Tehama counties. With the help of our extensive network of community partners, the North State Food Bank offers multiple ways to help low income families get the food and nutrition they need. Following the Camp Fire, our North State Food Bank added Camp Fire food relief efforts called Tailgates to distribute free boxes of healthy food to any one in need.Read More
The Nonprofits Insurance Alliance is hosting a photo contest and giving nonprofits like us an opportunity win cash prizes and get some good press. It's so simple, with just a couple clicks you can help us out and it won't cost you a dime.
We chose to submit this super cute picture of Monica Brown's Kindergarten class form Hooker Oak Elementary. They had collected Halloween costumes for the Costumes for Kids drive and are posing with them before donating.
Voting is easy – just click the link below to vote.Read More
2018 is quickly coming to a close and we are so grateful for all the community support we have seen. During the Camp Fire emergency and the ongoing relief efforts you showed us that Butte County is a community that cares. You took in your friends and neighbors who were displaced, you donated food and clothing and came together as a community to lift each others spirits. We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel, but there is still much work to do. Consider making your tax-deductible donation before the end of the year, or find a volunteer opportunity that's right for you. You might be surprised to find that there are several mental and physical benefits you can get from the act of giving.Read More
This Christmas you can make a child's wish come true. The Chico News & Review is partnering with us again to benefit the children of the Esplanade House. They have a giving tree set up in their office with 20 tags on it, each bearing the name of a child as well as ideas for gifts. Just pick a tag off the tree and return the wrapped present under the tree by December 19th with the child's name on the tag.
The Chico News & Review office is located at Second and Flume St.
Chico News & Review
353 E 2nd St, Chico, CA 95928
The Community Action Agency of Butte County was recently recognized for our commitment to transparency and accountability with a 2018 Gold Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile!
For non-profits, the importance of transparency and accountability cannot be overstated. We have to manage government funds, grants, and gifts from private donors in a way that honors the spirit of those contributions and makes the most of every dollar. We are accountable to our community. For over 50 years, we have served and supported Butte County and surrounding areas. We encourage donors and volunteers to research our commitment to our mission, vision, and promise to support programs that improve communities, reduce poverty and its symptoms, and change lives. We can only do all this, and more, with your help, and with an organization that is run well, using industry best-practices. That is what we strive to do every day.Read More
Help your community get and keep more of their hard-earned money! Volunteers interested in assisting in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program in 2019 are needed! We are looking for experienced tax preparers who can assist at each of our VITA sites in Chico and Durham. You can help people with low to moderate income file their taxes, and at the same time you’ll help taxpayers get tax credits and deductions that they’re entitled to receive. Take a look at how much our VITA volunteers saved people last year:Read More