FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNOR SPITZER ANNOUNCE PASSAGE OF LOCAL CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT - A KEY RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAYOR'S POVERTY COMMISSION
Child Care Tax Credit Will Assist Low-income Families with the Cost of Child Care
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Eliot Spitzer today announced that the Governor has signed into law a local Child Care Tax Credit-a key recommendation of the Mayor's Poverty Commission. The tax credit is designed to assist low-income and underemployed families with the cost of child care for children under the age of four, and it is estimated that up to 49,000 New York City families will qualify for this benefit. The $42 million cost will be covered by the Mayor's Innovation Fund, which is managed by the Center for Economic Opportunity and funded through a combination of private donations, and city, state and federal funds. The Child Care Tax Credit is the single largest initiative on the Mayor's poverty agenda, and the passage of this bill represents an important legislative victory for the Mayor.
"When we started looking for innovative ways to tackle poverty in New York, we realized one of the biggest assists we could give working families was helping them pay for safe child care while a parent works. By signing our bill, that's exactly what Governor Spitzer is doing," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This new tax credit will help more parents work full time and still get care for their youngest children. In addition to Governor Spitzer, I want to thank the City Council for supporting the Center for Economic Opportunity as we work to break the cycle of poverty in our city."
"Access to quality childcare in New York City has become cost prohibitive for far too many families," said Governor Spitzer. "The Child Care Tax Credit will support struggling low-income families who are currently forced to trade off child care costs against other important priorities such as the chance to work, put food on the table and pay health care costs. At the same time, this law addresses the needs of young children in these families by helping them gain access to the quality care and early learning needed to succeed. I thank Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs for their tireless advocacy on this important matter."
"Supporting hard working New Yorkers is one of the top priorities of this Administration and of the City's poverty agenda," said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs. "The Child Care Tax Credit, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, will help in covering child care costs and give parents peace of mind knowing their children will be well cared for while they work. We will be evaluating the impact of this tax credit on work participation of the working poor."
The Child Care Tax Credit will take effect this tax year. Families with gross household incomes up to $30,000 a year who pay child care expenses for children under age 4 will qualify. Most of the estimated 49,000 families who are eligible would receive a city credit of approximately $1,000 which will be combined with the already existing State and Federal child care tax credits. Even if the families who qualify for the Child Care Tax Credit have no income tax liability, they would still receive a $1,000 refund check.
"The right of a family to access safe, high quality child care shouldn't be contingent on how much money they make," said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "This tax credit will give thousands of working New Yorkers the opportunity to keep working, helping them achieve financial stability and making our economy even stronger. The Council has pushed for the creation for this tax credit, and was proud to have supported the work of the Mayor's Poverty Commission. We commend the Governor and State Legislature for making this crucial tax credit a reality."
"The Child Care Tax Credit is a smart investment in parents and their children. By allowing working families to keep more of their hard-earned income, kids can receive the quality care they need to thrive and prepare for school," said Gail Nayowith, Executive Director of Citizens' Committee for Children and a member of the Mayor's Poverty Commission. "This is where the foundation for healthy development and a good education begins."
Center for Economic Opportunity
The Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) was established by Mayor Bloomberg to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City. Led by Executive Director Veronica White, the CEO works with City agencies to design and implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at poverty reduction. The CEO manages an Innovation Fund through which it provides City agencies annual funding to implement such initiatives and will oversee a rigorous evaluation of each to determine which are successful in demonstrating results towards reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency among New Yorkers.
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958