Republican Elaine Phillips and Democrat Adam Haber, the candidates for the 7th State Senate District seat being vacated by Sen. Jack Martins, have released competing middle-class tax-cut plans.
Phillips, mayor of the Village of East Hills, wants to restore the state’s $350 Family Tax Credit, which is set to expire at the end of 2016, and double the amount $700. She also would make the annual credit a permanent part of the state’s tax code.
The credit was sent to more than 1 million families in each of the past three years to assist with child care expenses.
Since 2009, child care costs have grown by nearly 4 percent annually — more than twice the rate of inflation — and Long Island families pay 10 percent or more of their salary to cover day care and after-school care expenses, Phillips said.
“Families are struggling to pay child care costs that are growing faster than salaries and inflation,” said Phillips. “If we want to make living on Long Island more affordable for our own children, make families feel financially secure and be able to attract young people to live and work here, we must address the high cost of raising a family.”
Phillips said she also would work to double the state’s Dependent Care Credit and push Congress to increase the federal Dependent Care Credit, which has not increased since 2001.
Haber, an East Hills businessman who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2014, said he would provide $190 million in increased child care subsidies to expand the number of families receiving subsidies. He would also create a state Office of Early Childhood to connect families with available resources.
Haber also would:
- Increase tax deductions for families struggling with student loan debt and expand loan forgiveness on the state level;
- Establish a first-time home-buyer tax credit and create a savings account similar to an IRA for families purchasing their first home;
- Work with local municipalities to establish joint purchasing agreements to drive down the cost of supplies and allow them to refinance their debt.
“We all want to raise our kids here and provide them with the opportunity to do the same,” Haber said. “Unfortunately, increasing property taxes, skyrocketing child care costs and limited access to affordable housing stands in the way of making this dream a reality.”
Martins is vacating the 7th District seat to run for Congress in the 3rd District.