FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES THE CITY'S EFFORT TO BOOST FILINGS FOR THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, January 22, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Nobody likes to think about taxes, but between now and April 15th, qualified New Yorkers should take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which puts thousands of dollars back into the pockets of hard-working families who are making their way up the economic ladder. How do you know if you qualify? Well, for example, if you're an individual making an annual income of $11,750 or less, or a family making less than $35,263, you are probably eligible.
"The City, State, and Federal Earned Income Tax Credits, called the EITC, offer a combined maximum refund of $5,940. And, because the credits are retroactive for up to three years, some families could receive nearly three times that much. All that can make a big difference for a family that is struggling to make ends meet.
"Nearly 800,000 New Yorkers claimed the tax credit in 2004, bringing more than $1.5 billion into our City, but there are still some 200,000 people who are eligible for the credit, but never claim it. That means over $500,000,000 never gets to the families who need it.
"We want to do everything we can to help New Yorkers get back the money that is rightfully theirs. This year, the City has created and expanded coalition with over 100 private and non-profit organizations to open 40 free tax-preparation sites around the city.
"This partnership is the nation's largest and most comprehensive effort to assure that eligible residents get their EITC money. We distribute more than seven million pieces of literature in 11 languages and have worked to encourage EITC-eligible New Yorkers to open checking accounts so they can quickly and safely deposit the money they've earned without being charged high loan fees.
"We're also working with our schools and with labor unions to inform New Yorkers of their eligibility. Members of many New York City unions can benefit from discounted tax-preparation provided by two of the nation's largest tax preparers, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt.
"In addition, H&R Block is expanding their services to non-union households and offering discounted tax preparation services to residents in 19 target neighborhoods throughout the city: From Fordham to Jamaica,and from Crown Heights to Washington Heights. All residents who make less than 40 thousand dollars a year and are new customers to H&R Block are eligible to participate. Call 311 or log on to NYC.gov for a complete list of free tax sites throughout the city.
"If all eligible New Yorkers claimed their EITC money, it would pump a total of $2 billion dollars into our local economy. That's our goal, and each year we're getting closer to reaching it. So tell your friends and your neighbors to visit one of the City's 40 free tax-preparation sites and check their eligibility. And remember: 'It's your money, come and get it.'
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958