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This week’s edition!

LA CA$H Touts Over $3.7 Million in Claimed Refunds for Area Residents

Coalition Co-chair Chris Adler and site coordinator KC Geiger congratulate IRS- certified volunteer tax preparer Wayne Penley.

Coalition Co-chair Chris Adler and site coordinator KC Geiger congratulate IRS-
certified volunteer tax preparer Wayne Penley.

The Lewiston-Auburn CA$H Coalition celebrated another tax season success on April 8. Its IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers facilitated $3,728,000 in federal and state refund claims for area residents during the 2015 tax season, bring its 12-season tally to $26,289,674.

Once again, LA CA$H is the lead coalition of 10 throughout the state of Maine, providing free tax preparation and asset-building opportunities to low-to-moderate income individuals/families.  Taxes were prepared during the season at the Lewiston Memorial Armory and Auburn City Hall. Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald and Auburn City Councilor Belinda Gerry participated in the April 8 celebration.

The 2015 tax season resulted in volunteers serving 2,756 individuals. A total of $2,940,000 was claimed in federal refunds and $788,000 in state refunds. Of the federal returns, $971,000 claimed was for the Earned Income Tax Credit , a federal credit for low-to-moderate income workers. The EITC is known as the nation’s largest anti-poverty initiative. In addition, LA CA$H, with asset-building coordinator Jennifer Allen at the helm, provided asset-building information during the season to interested individuals  on topics such as savings accounts, budgeting, homeownership, matching accounts, debt management, etc.

A total of 753 individuals requested financial literacy information. Opportunity Guides assisting individuals on such topics were: Allen, Laurie McDonnell, Michelle Berry, Jill Lorom and Josh Giesler.

During the evening, Lewiston’s Community  Relations Coordinator/Coalition co-chair Dottie Perham-Whittier presented a Powerpoint presentation that gave an overview of  the coalition’s outreach and successes during the 2015 tax season, to include highlights from February’s Super REFUND Saturday that featured a financial literacy resource fair and attendees sharing their American Dream. Perham-Whittier also praised the positive relationship between CA$H volunteer tax preparers and AARP volunteer tax preparers who worked collaboratively during the tax  season, resulting in the 2,756 served.  In addition, a video clip, filmed by United Way’s Matt Shaw, highlighted a satisfied area resident who shared her positive experience with LA CA$H.

Site coordinator KC Geiger & Head Start training coordinator/Coalition  co-chair Chris Adler  presented  appreciation certificates  to  tax  preparers, greeters, schedulers
and quality review volunteers: Teresa Austin, Nancy Bisson, Lisa Bolen, Ronald Bunker, Kate Cooper, Tom Coulombe, Peter Field, Melody Fish, Earl Fournier, Yolande Gay, Sue Goddard, Lorna Healey, Doug Kinchen, Gerry Langelier, Monica Lee, Frances Lodge, Paul Maheux, Wayne
Penley, Jan Provencher, Norm Provencher, Mady Roy, Jan Sullivan, Ginny Theriault, Antoine Tolton, Suzanne Tymoczko, Robert Wailus, Paul Blanchard, Judy Gervais, Lou MacDonald, William Randall, Carole Ressler, Bob Cavanagh, Carmen Coulombe, Roland Danico, Joe Defilipp, Louise Gervais, Marsha Graham, Diane Kirouac, Rita Lajoie, Andy Michaud, Greg Nadeau, Sylvia Schrock and Celia Treworgy.

Long-time site coordinator KC Geiger was lauded for his “unwavering passion for this project,” and quality reviewers Paul Blanchard, Judy Gervais, Lou MacDonald, William Randall and Carole Ressler were praised for their tax expertise. Judy Gervais also praised all volunteers for working as such a tight-knit, effective team during the season. Schedulers Louise Gervais, Bob Cavanagh and Carmen Coulombe were also recognized  for fielding  more than 3,750  calls throughout the  tax season.

A volunteer commendation letter from IRS   Stakeholder Relationship   Tax Consultant  Tess
Armstrong  was  read during the evening, along with letters from U. S. Sen. Angus King and State Sen./Lewiston City Councilor Nate Libby.

For 2015, the CA$H Coalition was funded by a  statewide VITA grant, the JT Gorman Foundatio nand Key Bank. Coalition partners/promoters  are:  the  City of Lewiston; City  of  Auburn;  Internal  Revenue  Service;  Androscoggin  County  Chamber of Commerce;  United  Way  of  Androscoggin  County;  Androscoggin  Head  Start  & Child Care; Women,  Work  &  Community;  Goodwill, Key  Bank;  Coastal  Enterprises,  Inc.; Lewiston Adult Education; Lewiston  Housing Authority; Auburn Housing Authority; AARP Tax Aide Program; United Somali Women of Maine; Community Concepts, Volunteers of America; Maine Migrant Health, HUD; and retired seniors.



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