BATON ROUGE -- A bill authored by Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Denham Springs, that would have required verification of residence for children claimed as dependents when claiming the earned income tax credit failed to make it out of a Senate committee.

The bill, House Bill 530, was intended to require state income tax forms to include a box that filers would have to check to verify that the claimed dependents lived in the state for at least six months of the year.

It passed the full House on Tuesday, May 28, by a vote of 66-27. It was then referred to the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, where it failed to garner enough support in a 5-3 vote the following day.

Hodges said she was aware of parents who claimed the credit even though their children did not live with them, a release from her office said.

“This puts a bigger strain on our budget,” she said in the release. “We end up raising taxes. We’re asking people to tell the truth.”

Opponents argued that the cost of auditing the returns would be too high, though Hodges believes the savings could outweigh the cost of the audits, the release further explained.

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