Mayor Adams joins NYC unions in pressing Albany for expanded low-income tax credits: ‘Lift families out of poverty’
Mayor Adams joined labor leaders and elected officials Friday to call on Governor Hochul and Albany lawmakers to renew a set of popular low-income tax credits as part of this year’s state budget, which expires 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, have helped thousands of New York City families climb the career ladder. economic mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The goal is to lift families out of poverty. That’s what my mom wanted to do,” said Adams, who often recalls being raised in Brooklyn and Queens by a single mom who worked as a house cleaner. “If she had 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 discount on their annual tax per child, regardless of income. Meanwhile, the earned income credit has offered more than an $11,000 discount for low-income families, such as a couple with children who earn less than $60,000.
However, both credits will expire this year. As a result, legislators in Hochul and Albany have been pressured by a variety of stakeholders to include provisions to renew the appropriations 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, introduced a bill that would provide families with a $500 tax credit per child, regardless of income. The bill would give more than one credit of $1,500 per child for low-income families, such as those making less than $50,000.
Gounardes’ proposal would provide families with a break of $500 per child, regardless of income, and up to $1,500 per child for single parents earning less than $25,000 or couples earning less than $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 money to workers, they can 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 placing a huge 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 bring relief to working families,” Maroko said.
Hochul did not include a renewal of the tax credits in his first draft of the state budget, released last month. However, he has not ruled out including the appropriations in the budget, 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 loan renewals given that she offered a large tax break to the Buffalo Bills for 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.