The Business Council opposes this bill which would mandate employers across the state to provide information on eligibility for federal or state earned income tax credits to employees who are paid the greater of $60,000 in gross income or the maximum income at which an employee may be eligible for the EITC.
The federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits are an acknowledged benefit in assisting people to escape poverty and transition them from public assistance to meaningful work. We know that for workers at or near the minimum wage, the EITC benefit can result in a nearly twenty-five percent increase in income. In addition, when combined with other support programs such as food stamps and the home energy assistance program, low income families can lift themselves out of poverty and off public assistance.
Currently, efforts to inform individuals of their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credits every three years rest with the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance and are required under state tax law section 606(d)(6).
Before the imposition of a new state-wide employer mandate such as this, The Business Council and its members would like to learn the contents of the Commissioner's efforts and have the opportunity to suggest additional or alternative communication strategies. With the Commissioner's communication success rate at approximately eighty percent, it seems that additional suggestions from the private sector may be all that's needed to increase successful communications to eligible persons who have not yet participated in the program.
The Business Council would prefer to voluntarily partner with the Commissioner in efforts to increase the current participation rate before a new mandate such as this is imposed.
For these reasons, the Business Council opposes this bill and urges that it not be enacted by the New York State Legislature.