City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer proposed tripling the city’s Earned Income Tax Credit contribution from 5 percent to 15 percent of the federal tax credit.
The proposal would lift 15,000 additional families out of poverty, inject millions of dollars to the local economy and help 1 million children and 2 million adults living near the poverty line.
Currently, low-income New Yorkers may be eligible for three separate Earned Income Tax Credits: the Federal EITC, which refunds a percentage of the individual’s federal income tax; the New York State EITC, an additional tax credit on the individual’s state income tax, which is worth 30 percent of the Federal EITC; and the New York City EITC, a third tax credit on the individual’s city income tax, which is currently worth 5 percent of the Federal EITC.
This increase requires both a change in state law and action by the city. Statistics indicate 20 percent of New Yorkers live below the poverty line, but in certain neighborhoods, such as Mott Haven and Hunts Point in the Bronx, that number jumps to more than 40 percent. A recent study by Columbia University showed that 60 percent of households in the City—more than 4 million New Yorkers—will have difficulty covering rent, affording medical treatment, or putting food on the table this year.