New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Friday was joined by labor leaders, other elected officials and working New Yorkers to rally state lawmakers to double down on their support for the Child Tax Credit and a further expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) — a critical initiative that Adams advocated for and secured in last year’s budget.
Thanks to that expansion, a single parent with one child with an income of $14,750 saw their tax benefit increase from $181 to $905 — a 400 percent increase.
A married couple with two children and an income of $25,000 saw their New York City benefit increase from $299 to $897 under the city payment — a 200 percent increase.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are lifelines to so many New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “That’s why we were proud to fight alongside our colleagues in Albany last year to push for an expansion of the EITC for the first time in 20 years and to get more funding for child care.
“And we’re not stopping there — the ‘Working People’s Agenda’ that we’re rallying for today will bring fairer wages, better benefits, and a better quality of life to working New Yorkers,” he added.
“Labor fights for workers. But we don’t stop there. We fight for our working families. For our children and for our communities. 32BJ SEIU is excited to join a powerful coalition to make permanent the New York State supplemental Child Tax Credit,” said Manny Pastreich, president, 32BJ. “When the federal government expanded the Child Tax Credit in 2021, some 120,000 New York City children were lifted out of poverty. This policy works.
“Let’s make sure it becomes a permanent fixture within New York’s social safety net system. This is a collective investment in the children who will lead this state one day,” he added.
“As New Yorkers face continuously rising costs, extending and expanding the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit are common-sense proposals that will make a real difference in so many people’s lives,” said Rich Maroko, president, Hotel & Gaming Trades Council (HTC). “These tax credits will support working families who need it the most, and by promoting the well-being of children, will put New York City on more solid footing for years to come.
“Thank you, Mayor Adams, for actively prioritizing the economic needs of New Yorkers, especially during such a crucial time in our city’s recovery,” he added.
“Access to quality child care is an essential service for working parents across the city,” said Henry Garrido, executive director, District Council 37. “The expansion of both the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit is not only good public policy but also allows us to invest in and protect one of our most vulnerable populations: our children.”
At today’s rally, Adams focused on state legislation that would expand eligibility for these vital tax credits to individuals with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN), as opposed to just those with Social Security numbers.
Currently, a Social Security number is required to claim the EITC at the federal, state, and city level. This requirement excludes hundreds of thousands of hardworking, immigrant New Yorkers, preventing them from receiving as much as $2,000 in tax credits.
In New York City, 78 percent of undocumented immigrants were in the labor force as of 2017, with a median annual income of $25,300.
“State-level Child Tax Credits have been the most effective tool for putting money directly in families’ wallets, where the funds have the power to stabilize whole households that include children,” said Davon Russell, president, Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation. “In the Bronx, which has the highest rate of child poverty in New York State, the Child Tax Credit has contributed directly to declines in child poverty. $2,000 per child equals $166 per month that can go directly for food, utilities, rent, and other essentials in an economic climate where such costs are prohibitive to many New Yorkers.
“Making the Child Tax Credit permanently refundable and inclusive of immigrant children could cut childhood poverty almost in half, reduce racial inequity in child poverty rates, and boost life-long social mobility,” he added. “Studies of analogous cash transfer programs to families have found benefits long into the future, improving children’s educational attainments into young adulthood, enhancing health outcomes, and resulting in higher earnings for recipients later in life.”
“LIIF supports the expansion and permanent continuation of New York’s Child Tax Credit — a proven solution for ameliorating childhood poverty,” said Kimberly Latimer-Nelligan, president, Low Income Investment Fund. “One of our strategic pillars is early care and education, so we know of the need for racial equity to be centered in these policies, as Black, Latino and other historically excluded communities experience significantly higher rates of poverty per capita.”
“The Chinese-American Planning Council urges lawmakers in Albany to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers and extend the state’s child care tax credit. Too many families cannot access the EITC and we know that income from these tax credits leads to better outcomes for children.” said Wayne Ho, president and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council.
“As an organization that promotes the economic empowerment of Asian American, immigrant and low-income communities we know how vital equitable access to resources are to ensuring children and families can thrive. We are proud to join Mayor Adams call to action to expand and extend these tax credits to more New Yorkers,” he added.
“Child poverty is a crisis across New York State that costs $60 billion annually in lost economic productivity and the best solution is to make better policy choices – starting with the 2024 state budget. We can lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty by making the expanded Empire State Child Tax Credit permanent and making eligible children under four and increasing the credit amount for the lowest-earning families,” said Matthew Klein, chief program and impact officer, Robin Hood. “Not only is this morally sound policy, it’s also a direct investment in the success of our society; fully refundable and inclusive tax credits increase children’s health, education and future earnings while alleviating costs on health care, child protection and crime. In fact, refusing to fund permanent reforms undermines statewide economic growth and entrenches racial disparities in poverty.
“We can’t afford to play politics with our children’s future,” he added. “We support city leaders in calling on Albany to step up with permanent solutions that get us on the path to ending child poverty in this budget cycle.”
Adams’ “Working People’s Agenda” focuses on delivering jobs, safety, housing, and care to working New Yorkers. Other initiatives within this agenda include: Helping 36,000 economically disadvantaged workers and residents of high-poverty communities — including 8,000 construction workers and 28,000 service contract workers — get connected to good jobs every year by working with city partners in Albany to finally empower New York City to require companies with city contracts to hire local community members; and doubling the city’s current rate of contracting with minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs), and awarding $25 billion in contracts to M/WBEs over the next four years and $60 billion over the next eight years.
“Thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit, we saw a historic reduction in the child poverty rate,” said New York City Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “As a policy decision, it’s a no brainer that we should take a look at expanding eligibility to a wider array of New Yorkers.”
“All families, no matter their immigration status, should be able to benefit from the child tax credit,” said New York City Councilmember Alexa Avilés. “I stand in strong support of expanding tax credit eligibility to ensure working-class immigrant families can benefit from the full Earned Income and Child Tax Credits when they file for state and local taxes. More money in working peoples’ pockets means more food on the table and healthier, more secure communities.”
“The Earned Income Tax Credit is an important boost for working families,” said New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer. “An EITC-enhanced tax refund can be the difference between struggling and security. By ensuring that families have more resources for items like food, child care, and rent, we make a real impact in addressing poverty.”
“The State and City have a responsibility to uplift working New Yorkers,” said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. “By expanding and broadening access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, we can support New York’s workers and their families. I commend the mayor for putting forward his Working People’s Agenda, and I stand with colleagues in government and union leaders to call for tax relief and job support for workers, as well as an increase in the city’s utilization of minority- and women-owned business enterprises.”
“The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are lifesaving initiatives that help thousands of people who struggle to make ends meet,” said New York City Councilmember Farah Louis, the daughter of Haitian and Bahamian immigrants. “As the cost of living continues to sky rocket, we need to protect New Yorkers who need it most. These initiatives put money directly in the pockets of low-income people who are trying to survive.
“I applaud Mayor Adams’ ‘Working People’s Agenda’ that prioritizes our most vulnerable neighbors, like single mothers, service contract workers, and immigrants,” she added. “It’s critical we continue to provide these resources so our neighbors are included in our vibrant economy.”
“New Yorkers far and wide are faced with an affordability crisis as the economic strains of inflation continue to mount. The ‘Working People’s Agenda’ of Jobs, Safety, Housing and Care’ announced by Mayor Adams today is common sense policy that will reduce child poverty as well as bring necessary economic relief and opportunities to working families throughout New York City,” said New York City Councilmember Lynn Schulman.
“During my tenure as commissioner of the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection we launched a new Earned Income Tax Credit initiative which returned over $260 million to hardworking New Yorkers,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin. “Expanding eligibility for the EITC will change lives and directly address economic inequality in our city. I applaud Mayor Adams and 32BJ for prioritizing this tax credit which can lift up thousands of hardworking families.”