On Friday, December 9th, New York lawmakers proposed a $1,500 child tax credit bill. The new legislation hopes to increase the current child tax credit program. The expanded program, New York State Working Families tax credit, would be created by a merger of the current child tax credit and the earned income tax credit programs.
According to the New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s report, released on Thursday, December 8th, nearly 19% of children in New York live below the poverty line. The report stated that nearly 14% of New Yorkers live in poverty. Lawmakers are hoping to reduce poverty levels with the proposed legislation to expand the child tax credit.
The bill proposed plans to increase the state tax credit from $500 to $1,500 per child. The bill also expands eligibility for younger children, as young as 4-years-old, for families in the lowest income levels.
Bill sponsor Senator Andrew Gounardes says this bill is his top priority for the state budget that he’ll be pushing for with Governor Kathy Hochul for next year. In an interview with Spectrum News, he said, “We want this to be policy moving forward. There is no reason why any child should have to live in poverty.”
If passed, families would be paid quarterly to help with utilities, food, clothing, and other expenses, which would be especially helpful as the country is currently experiencing a period of high inflation rates.
The proposed expanded tax credit program would cost the state an additional $2 billion more per year, totaling at $4 billion.
“When we are able to reduce poverty among children up to 20%, 2 billion dollars does not seem like a lot to spend in order to get to that incredibly laudable goal,” Senator Gounardes said.
Next year’s budget talks officially begin next month. Governor Hochul and legislative leaders will decide what will be included in the final spending plan. The deadline for the final plan is April 1st, 2023.
The State Department of Taxation and Finance would be responsible for assessing an individual’s or family’s tax returns and the income that they report to the state. In order to be eligible for the benefits, there must be $25,000 of income for an individual or $50,000 for a married couple filing jointly.