FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW YORK CITY CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT CAMPAIGN AS PART OF WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION
New York City Commission on Women's Issues, Center for Economic Opportunity, and the Department of Consumer Affairs Launch Campaign to Increase Awareness of the New Local Child Care Tax Credit
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, at his annual Women's History Month celebration, today announced the launch of a campaign to educate families about the City's new Child Care Tax Credit. Spearheaded by the NYC Commission on Women's Issues (CWI) as part of its efforts to address the needs of working mothers, and in partnership with the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) and the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the citywide campaign was created by NYC & Company . It was unveiled today in English and Spanish on bus shelters and phone kiosks throughout all five boroughs to increase the number of qualifying New Yorkers who file for the Child Care Tax Credit (CCTC). The Mayor was joined today for the Women's History Month Celebration at Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank by first Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs; Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs Carol Robles-Roman; model and philanthropist, Iman; NYC Commission on Women's Issues Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs; DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz; and CEO Executive Director Veronica White.
"All too often, paying for costly child care can be one of the biggest obstacles to fulltime employment for women," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Last year, our Administration worked with Governor Spitzer and the State Assembly and Senate to enact the new Child Care Tax Credit for low income families as part of our efforts to reduce poverty in our City. Making child care more affordable is key to helping women and parents succeed in the workplace. Now, we are taking that message directly to the neighborhoods that will most benefit from the City, State and Federal tax credits available to working families."
"Women tend to be the primary caregivers but unfortunately for those with lower incomes, child care expenses can be a barrier to the workplace," said CWI Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs. "The Child Care Tax Credit uniquely benefits working mothers. Our campaign to raise awareness of the tax credit comes before the end of tax season, a critical time while working mothers still have the time to file for the credit."
The Child Care Tax Credit, a key recommendation of the Mayor's Center for Economic Opportunity, was signed into law by Governor Eliot Spitzer on August 2, 2007. The tax credit will assist low-income families (earning $30,000 annually or less) with the cost of child care for children under the age of four. An estimated 49,000 New York City families qualify to receive a city credit of up to $1,733 which can be combined with the already existing State and Federal child care tax credits. Families who are eligible for the credit, but have no income tax liability can still receive a refund check. The $42 million cost of the tax credit is funded by the Mayor's Innovation Fund which is managed by the Center for Economic Opportunity.
Campaign posters in both Spanish and English have been placed in bus shelters and phone kiosks in low-income communities where families will most benefit from the tax credit. The campaign will be concentrated in neighborhoods including Bushwick, South Bronx, Bedford Stuyvesant, Jamaica, Cambria Heights, New Brighton, Brownsville, East New York, Harlem, East Harlem, Fordham, and East Tremont, where 60% of young children are living in families below the federal poverty line. The expenses covered by the credit include amounts paid out of pocket for child care and household services related to the child care. The City credit is an additional benefit on top of the Federal and State child care tax credits. For example, a family with a gross income of $30,000 or less that is eligible to receive the City Child Care Tax Credit may also be eligible to receive the Federal child care tax credit up to $2,100 and the State child care tax credit up to $2,310 for a combined maximum credit of $6,143.
"The Center for Economic Opportunity is excited that New York City is now implementing a local child care tax credit designed to help low-income families maintain employment and achieve financial stability," said CEO Executive Director Veronica White. "Finding innovative ways to tackle poverty has been at the center of Mayor Bloomberg's Administration and we will evaluate the success of the tax credit and the other CEO initiatives to see what works and what doesn't."
"We have continued to help working individuals and families get ahead through both the Earned Income Tax Credit campaign and the Child Care Tax Credit," said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. "DCA will continue to encourage New Yorkers this tax season to call 311 to see if they are eligible for these tax credits and the free tax preparation services provided at more than 50 sites across the City, so they can claim all they have coming to them."
New Yorkers looking for information on the Child Care Tax Credit can call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov where they can also find information on free or very low cost tax preparation sites that can assist them in filing for the Child Care Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit if they qualify. Partners in the New York City EITC Coalition run 50 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites citywide. The NYC Commission on Women's Issues will continue to work with DCA and CEO to enhance and grow the campaign over the next year in an effort to increase the number of eligible families filing for the Child Care Tax Credit.
Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958
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