LEWISTON — The Lewiston-Auburn CA$H Coalition held its 14th annual volunteer recognition event on April 13.
Since the 2004 tax season, its IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers have facilitated over $32 million in federal and state returns for Lewiston-Auburn area residents, free of charge.
This tax season alone resulted in over $2.9 million in returns claimed, and L-A CA$H Coalition prepared over one-third of the returns filed by the state’s 10 coalitions.
The multipartner coalition was established by the city of Lewiston in 2003.
Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau said, “From day one, the city of Lewiston’s goal was to help low- to moderate-income residents with free cash preparation and asset-building, as well as promote the Earned Income Tax Credit. We’d seen the success that Boston had achieved in that regard, and we wanted local residents to have the same opportunity. It’s now 2017, and we are extremely pleased that this multipartner (CA$H) Coalition has been so successful.”
The free tax prep was again this year done at the Lewiston Memorial Armory. Sue Martin served as site coordinator accompanied by Assistant K.C. Geiger, Asset Coordinator Linda Cronkite and other volunteers, who provided financial resource information to interested residents.
During the evening, volunteers were recognized with certificates from the Internal Revenue Service. LA CA$H Coalition Co-Chair Dottie Perham-Whittier also presented a PowerPoint overview of the successful tax season and read commendation letters, along with fellow Co-Chair Chris Adler, from U.S. Sen. Angus King, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Lewiston Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau and Tess Armstrong of the Internal Revenue Service.
Lou MacDonald, Melody Fish and Monica Lee received 10-year service pins from the IRS, and volunteer tax preparer Mady Roy was the top preparer of the season, having prepared 248 returns.
This season, 1,912 federal returns were prepared or efiled, along with 2,083 state returns. Of the federal returns filed, Earned Income Tax Credit claims totaled $687,298.
Those recognized were as follows: appointment scheduler, Louise Gervais; greeters/intake, Jen Allen, Jan Biron, John Chabot, Roland Danico, Joe Defilipp, Tracy Hall, Diane Kirouac, Ginny Marczak, Sylvia Schrock, Celia Treworgy and Adriann Tucker; quality reviewers, Judy Gervais, KC Geiger and Paul Blanchard; and tax preparers, Teresa Austin, Nancy Bisson, Ron Bunker, Richard Duplisea, Melody Fish, Pauline Fortier, Earl Fournier, Yolande Gay, KC Geiger, Sue Goddard, Lorna Healey, Doug Kinchen, Monica Lee, Jessica Leighton, Blanca Lytle, Lou MacDonald, Paul Maheux, Sue Martin, Kinsey Moser, Mady Roy, Janet Sullivan, Antoine Tolton, Sue Tymoczko and Bob Wailus.
Also recognized were members of the Asset Committee who worked closely with the asset coordinator: Jennifer Allen, Lewiston Housing Authority; Jill Lorom, Coastal Enterprises; and Chris Davis, New Ventures Maine.
The Coalition was funded this tax season by a John T. Gorman Foundation grant and a portion of a statewide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant.
L-A CA$H Coalition volunteers include, from left, Lou MacDonald, Melody Fish and Monica Lee.