As IRS checks make their way to taxpayers' mailboxes, over $1.1 million is flowing into Cayuga County thanks in part to the efforts of Cayuga Community College students. Five of the college's second-year accounting students, along with assistant professor Dawn Matijas, volunteered their time and skills in the United Way's CA$H program. CA$H (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) is a free tax preparation and electronic filing service for low-income earners. Now in its third year of training qualified volunteers and hosting free walk-in tax preparation sites, CA$H assisted 559 Cayuga County participants in 2008. The effort generated over $581, 000 in IRS refunds, over $173,000 in New York State tax refunds, and over $397,000 in earned income credit, for a boost to the local economy totaling more than $1,151,000.
The five Cayuga student volunteers all graduate this month. At the college's Commencement on May 18, Genevieve Burk will receive an associate's degree in business administration; Theresa Dullen, Joelle Netti-McLaughlin, Jacqueline Poole and Zachary Steigerwald will earn accounting degrees.