FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES EFFORTS TO HELP LOW INCOME NEW YORKERS RECOUP EARNED TAX CREDITS AND SAVE MONEY THROUGH A PRIVATELY-FUNDED CITY MATCH PROGRAM 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, February 15, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"It's tax season - and for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, that means that it's time to reclaim money that you've already worked hard for: Your Earned Income Tax Credits. If your income is below a certain level, EITCs are refunds of taxes that you already paid throughout 2008. For example, families with incomes of less than $42,000 a year can be eligible for as much as $6,500 in combined Federal, State, and City EITCs.
"Between now and April 15th, you can get free or low-cost help in filing for EITCs and other tax benefits at more than 60 tax assistance and preparation sites we've set up around the city. This is part of our multi-faceted effort to help New Yorkers weather the recession. You can find a tax assistance site that's convenient to you by calling 311 or visiting the City's web site at nyc.gov. And this year, you should also consider putting aside a portion of your EITC refund in a "SaveNYC" account. It's a City program that will really make your savings grow. Here's how.
"You can open a SaveNYC account when you apply for EITC refunds at participating free tax preparation sites. And if you direct up to $500 from your refunds to this account, and then keep that money in savings for at least 12 months, the City will match your deposit with 50 cents to the dollar from private contributions raised by the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. For example, if you put aside $100 now, you'll have $150 in your account a year from now. Save $500, and you'll have $750 next year. You'll also earn interest on your initial deposits. It's a great way to build up savings for when you might really need them. Again, for more information, including the names of organizations participating in SaveNYC, call 311 or go to nyc.gov.
"SaveNYC is a project of the Office of Financial Empowerment in the City's Department of Consumer Affairs, and it's only one element in the City's full-court press to help New Yorkers benefit from their EITCs. You may have already seen our "It's Tax Time, Go Get Your Refund" ads about the EITC in the subways, on buses, and in newspapers, or heard them on the radio. We're also distributing leaflets, posters, and postcards throughout the city, as well as two million palm cards in six languages. And the City's Human Resources Administration and Department of Finance are mailing out information to New Yorkers who qualify for the EITC.
"In fact, year after year, we mount the nation's biggest EITC assistance campaign - and as a result, since 2003 the number of eligible New Yorkers filing for EITCs has increased by some 47,000 people. That's because the EITCs are important to everyone in our city. This year, we estimate that EITCs will put more than two billion - that's right, billion - dollars in the hands of working New Yorkers. And in this economy, that's money that will really make a difference meeting household expenses, while also giving neighborhood businesses throughout the city a much-needed shot in the arm. So don't wait: Go get your refund, and put some aside in a SaveNYC account, too.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address