Mayor Adams joined labor leaders and elected officials Friday to call on Gov. Hochul and Albany lawmakers to renew a set of popular low-income tax credits as part of this year’s state budget — which is due in just one week.
Speaking at the Manhattan headquarters of the 32BJ SEIU union, Adams said the two tax breaks, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, helped thousands of New York City families climb the economic mobility ladder during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The goal is to lift families out of poverty. That’s what my mother wanted to do,” said Adams, who often recounts being raised in Brooklyn and Queens by a single mom who worked as a housecleaner. “If she would have had [these tax credits], we would have been on a different path.”
The child credit instituted during the pandemic has given families at least a $2,000 break on their annual tax levy per kid, regardless of income. The earned income credit, meanwhile, has offered upwards of a $11,000 break for low-income families, such as a couple with kids earning less than $60,000.
However, both credits are set to expire this year. As a result, a variety of stakeholders have lobbied Hochul and Albany legislators on folding in provisions to renew the credits in some form in this year’s state government budget, which is due April 1.
Brooklyn state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who joined Adams at Friday’s rally, has introduced a bill that would provide families a $500 tax credit per child regardless of income. The bill would give upwards of a $1,500 per child credit for low-income families, like those earning less than $50,000.
Gounardes’ proposal would provide families a $500 break per child regardless of income, and up to a $1,500 break per child for single parents making under $25,000 or couples earning under $50,000.
“In Albany, there are few issues that are black and white … but the [Earned Income Tax Credit] and the child tax credit are not gray issues,” Gounardes, a Democrat, said at the rally. “It is an indisputable fact: You give working people money, they are able to lift themselves out of poverty.”
Rich Maroko, president of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council union and a prominent political supporter of Adams, noted that inflation, rising rents and a variety of other economic factors are already putting immense burden on low-income families.
“It’s squeezing working families to the breaking point, which is why I’m here to support Mayor Adams’ initiative to provide relief for working families,” Maroko said.
Hochul did not include a renewal of the tax credits in her first draft of the state budget, released last month. She hasn’t ruled out including the credits in the budget, though, and negotiations are heating up in Albany ahead of next week’s deadline.
In a jab at Hochul, Manhattan Assemblyman Tony Simone suggested it should be a no-brainer for the governor to back the renewals of the credits given that she offered a massive tax break to the Buffalo Bills for the construction of their new football stadium.
“If we can afford to give tax breaks for big stadiums, we can afford to extend tax credits for working families,” he said.
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