Assembly Majority Blocks GOP Attempt To Expand Earned Income Tax Credit For Low-Income New Yorkers

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) issued the following statement after the Majority Conference blocked a bill (A.4177, Kolb) that would increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 30 percent to 45 percent.
 
“Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit puts more money in people’s pockets, puts more people back to work and puts more food on the table for families struggling to make ends meet. What part do Assembly Democrats disagree with?” Leader Kolb said. “There’s no shortage of talk from Assembly Democrats about providing help to those in need. But as we witnessed today, meaningful action is sorely lacking.”
 
The EITC program was designed specifically to help working people with low to moderate incomes. The state EITC was first implemented in 1994 at 7.5 percent and has been increased six times. The last state increase took place in 2003. The state’s minimum wage has increased 10 times and more than doubled since the last time New York raised the EITC.  
 
A report funded in part by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance states that expanding the EITC to 45 percent would increase employment of single mothers by more than 21,000. The same report indicates that expanding the EITC to 45 percent would reduce total poverty between 68,000 to 98,000 people.
 
“There’s an alarming poverty problem across this state that demands swift, decisive action. Too many areas are showing startling poverty rates – especially among children. The political posturing that took place today serves absolutely no one,” Leader Kolb said.
 
According to U.S. Census data, poverty rates among school-aged children in Rochester are at 46.7 percent; in Buffalo 40.5 percent; and in Syracuse 39.2 percent.

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