The Pine Bluff Wealth Building Coalition and Mayor Shirley Washington held a meeting at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center to announce that they will offer free, advance tax preparation for residents who make $54,000 or less per year.

Rev. Jesse Turner of the Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc., helped organize the event and says last year’s volunteers helped area residents receive more than $500,000 in refunds. “We returned that money back into the pockets of low income people,” said Turner. “We will continue the process of doing people’s taxes free of charge. There are certain things they will have to bring, but we will do the taxes free of charge.”

Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington was also in attendance to help announce the annual tax preparation event, adding that the program helps to return money to the local economy. “I’m excited about the diverse coalition kicking off the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program in Pine Bluff, better known as VITA,” Washington said. “I like the fact that this program is helping provide resources and is helping build our economy with the money that it is bringing back to our citizens.”

Tax preparation assistance is available by visiting the Donald W. Reynolds Community Service Center at 211 West 3rd Av. In Pine Bluff. Those who qualify should call PBICVR office at (870) 730-1131 to schedule an appointment.