With just one week remaining until the filing deadline, Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Members visited a free tax preparation site and reminded New Yorkers that they can receive up to $8,923 through the Earned Income Tax Credit

Brooklyn, NY –Speaker Mark-Viverito along with Council Members Julissa Ferreras and Robert Cornegy today visited Food Bank NYC at the Bed-Stuy Restoration Plaza to remind New Yorkers to file their taxes and to utilize the Earned Income Tax Credit at free tax preparation sites at locations across the City. The Earned Income Tax Credit is the largest direct poverty reduction program in the nation, allowing working families to receive as much as $8,923 when filing their taxes. With help from the City Council, Food Bank NYC was able to save New Yorkers over $85 Million in 2014 through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“This year, New Yorkers are eligible for a credit of up to $8,923 through the EITC, and everyone who is eligible should definitely utilize this program,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The Council is proud to partner with organizations like Food Bank NYC to help New Yorkers file their taxes and receive the benefits to which they are entitled.”

The City Council provided $250,000 in funding in FY 2015 to support tax preparation services for New Yorkers. This funding allows Food Bank NYC to help New Yorkers prepare all necessary tax documents and receive the maximum tax return using the Earned Income Tax Credit and other deductions.

“Through the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the City Council was able to provide $150,000 in funding to the Food Bank of NYC and, in turn they saved New Yorkers over $85 million in 2014 while filing their taxes,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras. “This year, New Yorkers are eligible for a credit of up to $8,923 through the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC has been shown to be the largest direct poverty reduction program in the nation with studies pointing to it significantly reducing child poverty and improving school achievement. That is why the Speaker and I, in my role as finance chair, along with my colleagues in the Council are so proud of what this program has done in our City.”

“Working class New Yorkers can’t afford to leave money on the table. The earned income tax credit and free, city council funded tax preparation are ways to help families hold onto dollars that will otherwise be taken by uncle Sam or tax preparer fees,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy. “There’s still time for central Brooklynites to take advantage of these resources and I encourage everyone to do so before the April 15th filing deadline.”

“For families struggling to make ends meet in these difficult times, the Earned Income Tax Credit can be a lifeline for low income working New Yorkers,” said Lisa Hines-Johnson, Chief Operating Officer for Food Bank For New York City. “With just a few weeks until tax day, we strongly encourage all New Yorkers who think they may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit to visit one of the free tax preparation sites throughout the five boroughs. We’re grateful to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the Council for providing this opportunity to spread the word so that more New Yorkers will get the assistance they need to help make financial ends meet.”

“We are thrilled to be a partner in providing free tax prep services for the community,” said Colvin Grannum, President and CEO of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. “For nearly 50 years, we have worked to support Brooklyn’s residents on the path to financial stability. As families come in to prepare their taxes, we can also offer them support services including access to benefits, jobs and financial counseling.”