Mayor Graham Richard today announced the City of Fort Wayne is preparing for the 2006 “Mayor'€™s Money in Your Pocket” Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program.

Mayor Richard has sent a letter to financial institutions in the community asking for their support and help with the program. The EITC program assists lower income working families apply for tax refunds.

In 2005, $1.6 million in tax refunds were received by working families. There has been an increase in participation and refunds each year since the program started in 2003. In 2003, $250,000 was returned to the local economy. In 2004, the total was just over $1 million.

 “We look forward to continuing this campaign to better serve the members of our community who work hard and deserve a tax refund,” said Mayor Richard. “We can exceed our past efforts by working together to build a larger and stronger network of volunteers to assist with tax return preparation.”

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Denise Porter-Ross, Mayor'€™s Northeast Area Advocate. Porter-Ross can be reached at 427-2603 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Along with financial institutions, other partners include:

* Volunteer Center at RSVP                

* Wayne Township Trustee'€™s Office

* IRS                                                  

* Urban League

* CANI '€“ Lake Avenue

* CANI '€“ Salvation Army

* Benito Juarez Center             

* East Wayne Street Center

* Purdue Extension Co-op                   

* Vincent House

* Neighborhood Health Clinics

* Indiana Business College

The program will kick off in January. A complete schedule of tax return locations and times will be announced in the coming weeks.