Senator Robert Casey Jr. Visits VITA Program in Stroudsburg

April 21, 2023

Stroudsburg, PA – On Tuesday, April 10, 2023, U.S. Senator Bob Casey visited Pocono Mountains United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to show his appreciation to the dedicated volunteers and learn more about a program that helps residents in need.

“Over the past five years, I have voted to more than double the funding available for VITA centers because this critical service eases the burden for families who rely on their yearly tax refunds to pay the bills or make ends meet,” Senator Casey said. “I am proud that the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is free and accessible to the low-income Pennsylvanians who need it most.”

Senator Casey’s visit included a tour of the facility, time meeting the program’s volunteers, and a discussion about the importance of the VITA program along with how it has benefited hundreds of residents in Monroe County.

Each year, Pocono Mountains United Way helps hundreds of people in Monroe County receive assistance filing their taxes, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars from returns into the local economy. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free tax return preparation for households with incomes under $60,000 to help those with limited resources ensure that their taxes are filed properly.

“Pocono Mountains United Way first got involved with the VITA program in 2019, and it has steadily grown each year to help more people in our area,” said Pocono Mountains United Way President/CEO Michael Tukeva. “We were glad to welcome Senator Casey as he visited our program and heard from volunteers who are so important to seeing that we can assist as many people as possible.”

Taxpayers from every township and borough in Monroe County were served by Pocono Mountains United Way’s VITA Program this season. A total of 210 returns were prepared generating over $184,000 in refunds and saving over $45,000 in filing fees.  The average age of the primary taxpayer served through the program was 62, and average adjusted gross income was under $23,000 per year, showing that the program was successful in reaching those most in need.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey shakes hands with a volunteer at the Pocono Mountains United Way VITA site.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey shakes hands with a volunteer at the Pocono Mountains United Way VITA site.