By GREGORY N. HEIRES
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 5 announced a plan to boost the state’s tax-credit for child care, which will reduce the financial burden faced of an estimated 200,000 middle-class families across the state.
The enhanced tax credit will more than double the credit for families with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000.
“Far too many parents have to sacrifice working to build their family’s infrastructure because affordable, high quality day care is financially out of reach,” Cuomo said. “This newly enhanced credit will make it easier for more New Yorkers to be able to secure day care for their children and will be able to enter or stay in the workforce with peace of mind.”
In fiscal year 2014, nearly 520,000 families received almost $189 million in tax savings through the state’s Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
Currently, the maximum benefit amounts to 110 percent of the federal credit for taxpayers who earn less than $25,000. The rate drops to 20 percent of the federal credit for families with incomes of $65,000 and higher.
The enhanced tax credit will increase the average benefit from $169 to $376 for families whose income ranges from $50,000 to $150,000.Families with incomes below $50,000 already receive a considerable benefit, according to the governor’s office.
“District Council 37 supports the Enhanced Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit legislation and thanks Gov. Andrew Cuomo for taking bold action on this issue,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido.
“Our members never quit in their effort to provide quality public services to the people of New York. Having safe, reliable, quality child care available for their children enhances the vital work they do, which is why DC 37 supports this legislation to make child care more affordable for our members and for more than 200,000 working families statewide,” Garrido said.
Cuomo’s proposal must be approved by the state Legislature. The new tax credit would go into effect in 2018.
Child care continues to put a major financial strain on New York families.
The parents of more than 65 percent of children under 6-years-old in the state have jobs, so they need stable child-care arrangements. If one the parents decides to remain at home, that parent will have to deal with barriers to employment and advancement that can lower their lifetime earnings.