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Gillibrand unveils plan to double federal child care tax credit

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday introduced a bipartisan bill that would change the federal tax system to help make childcare more affordable.

Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is pushing to more than double the federal child care tax credit and make the credit refundable, allowing working parents to receive a maximum credit of $3,000 for one child, up from $1,050.

The senator also proposes allowing a family to deduct up to $14,000 of qualifying child care expenses, for two children. Gillibrand hopes to introduce legislation that would increase the amount of money families can contribute to a flexible spending account that is not subject to taxes families can use to pay for child care expenses.

A recent report by Child Care Aware showed New York families pay the highest child-care costs in the country.

The average household income in Monroe County is $52,394; $30,875 in the city of Rochester.

For many families, paying for child care represents a family’s largest monthly expense after housing, the Child Care Aware report states.

In the Rochester Finger Lakes Region, there were nearly 62,000 families with children younger than 6.  For a year of child care in a daycare center, families spend an estimated $10,851 for an infant and $9,013 for a child age 6 to 12, officials said.

"While middle class wages remain stagnant, child care is now so expensive in this state, that it is rivaling the cost of sending our children to college," Gillibrand said. "For many families, both parents working, or a single mom going to work to provide for her family isn’t a choice.”

(c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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