A number of community groups that are trying to keep giant retailer Wal-Mart out of New York City are out with a release this morning slamming the superstore for their partnership with Jackson-Hewitt, a tax preparation coming expanding its footprint in Wal-Mart stores.
The advocates accused Jackson-Hewitt of predatory lending because they specialize in Refund Anticipation Loans, which charge interest rates as high as 24% APR in exchange for giving taxpayers an advance on their expected tax returns.
“By partnering with one of the nation’s most notorious predatory lenders, Walmart has once again shown its true colors,” said Jonathan Kest executive director of New York Communities for Change (the group that grew out of ACORN.) “While the company may claim to care about low income families, deals like this show their real goal is to make as much money off the backs of poor people as possible.”
Today, New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York, Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), and Picture the Homeless all announced that they are officially joining the Walmart Free NYC coalition.
The City Council is expected to hold its first hearing on Wal-Mart this week.