Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Back on her agenda to help working women, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is touting her legislation to double tax credits for day care and allow some of the cost be deducted as business expenses.

In a news conference on the telephone Tuesday and another in her New York City office on Sunday, Gillibrand said New York has the second-highest cost of day care in the country. That cost, she said, forces many women to choose between working and staying home.

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Gillibrand personally knows that day care is costly. Asked today what she pays for day care for her two boys, she said about $10,000 a year, and $5,000 for after school care. “That doesn’t count baby sitters,” she said. But she admitted that’s less than the national average.

According to her staff, on Long Island nearly 140,000 families with children under six years old spend on average much more at day care centers, ranging from up to $17,680 for infant to as much as $14,716 for age 6-12 for a year.

Gillibrand proposes to more than double the Dependent and Child Care Tax Credit, raising its maximum deduction from 35 percent to 50 percent -- effectively boosting the amount from $1,050 per child to $3,000 per child.

And she said she is for creating a new child care tax deduction, allowing middle class families to deduct as much as $7,000 a year per child as business expenses ($14,000 max for two kids). Gillibrand says this would reduce taxable income by $3,500.

Gillibrand said she hopes to attach the two measures as amendments to the bipartisan Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014. If amendments are barred, Gillibrand said she would bring the legislation up as stand-alone bills sometime later this year.