Rep. Steve Israel presses for larger child care tax credit

Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) he will reintroduce federal Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) he will reintroduce federal legislation that would allow working parents to claim a larger tax credit for child care costs. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) said Monday that he will reintroduce federal legislation that would allow working parents to claim a larger tax credit for child care costs.

Families with incomes below $43,000 can now claim a tax credit for up to 35 percent of their costs, while those who exceed the income limit can claim up to only 20 percent, said Samantha Slater, Israel's spokeswoman.

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Israel's bill, which failed to pass in the last congressional session, would eliminate the income criteria so all families can claim the full credit.

"Middle-class families . . . should be able to claim the full tax credit for their child care expenses, and parents should not feel like they have to choose between entering or leaving the workforce to pay for child care," Israel said.

The average cost of child care in New York State is $11,585 per child, according to a 2012 report by Child Care Aware America, an Arlington, Va., based child care advocacy group.

Slater estimated that Israel's legislation would cost the government about $2 billion a year in lost revenues.

"It's definitely going to be a struggle, but he'll work hard to get it through," she said.

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