More than two dozen organizations this week are making a final push to include a tax credit meant to help caregivers who provide support for a relative or loved one as part of the state budget that is due to pass by the end of the week.
Thirty-five groups composed of health, consumer and aging organizations and led by AARP New York, urged the top Democrats in the state Legislature to include the tax credit in a final budget agreement in a letter sent this week.
Family caregivers spend on average $8,200 of their own money to help care for loved ones each year. The tax credit is meant to offset those costs, while at the same time keeping their loved one at home.
A proposal advanced earlier this month in the state would provide for a tax credit of up to $3,500 or half of eligible expenses for single filers with a gross income of $75,000 or less or couples earning $150,000 or less.
“We were very excited to see the state Senate include a tax credit for unpaid family caregivers in its one-house budget proposal, but we need the governor, Speaker Heastie and the Assembly to agree to the proposal to make it a reality,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel.
The tax credit has the backing of 84% of voters age 50 and older, an AARP surey earlier this year found. Increasingly, older people have found they are in charge of caring for a sick loved one, sometimes a parent or spouse, and taking on a financial burden in the process.
Backing the tax credit in the letter to lawmakers was the Hispanic Federation, the NAACP of New York, the New York Urban League, the Asian American Federation as well as the group that represents offices for the aging at the county level.
“A family caregiver tax credit would provide much-needed financial relief to family caregivers and help them to care for their loved ones at home, where the vast majority want to be,” the letter says. ”While respite is essential to providing family caregivers relief from their duties, they also need help with the financial toll of caring for their loved ones.”