Gillibrand urges New Yorkers to file taxes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) urged New Yorkers to file their taxes electronically in order to quickly access provisions in the American Rescue Plan like the refundable Child Tax Credit and the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

According to a press release, the Child Tax Credit would provide annual payments of $3,600 for children younger than six and $3,000 for those between the ages of six and 17. The EITC will now be available to more low-income earning families.

“Finally, everyone can get the full value of the Child Tax Credit, including low-income families who have shouldered the worst of the pandemic and need relief quickly,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“The American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit together form the sharpest and timeliest tools we have to arm families against poverty. I am urging New Yorkers to take advantage of the newly available financial boost they need to take care of their children and themselves during a major public health crisis.”

New Yorkers have access to free tax filing assistance sites and the IRS Free File program. Free online tax help is available for military service members, families and some veterans through MilTax.

Stefanik supports PPP deadline extension

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) cosponsored a bill that would extend the covered period for the Paycheck Protection Program to June 30. 

According to a press release, the current deadline to apply for funds is March 31.

“More than $128 billion for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program remains, but the deadline to apply is less than three weeks away," Stefanik said in a statement.

"North Country small businesses are still hurting, and it’s absolutely essential this bill is passed to give them more time to determine their loan amount eligibility, file an application, resolve any potential issues and access these critical funds.”

Jones supports small business funding

ALBANY — On Monday, State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) announced his support for provisions of the Assembly's budget proposal that would provide $1 billion for a Small Business Reopening and Relief grant program.

According to a press release, the program would offer grants to cover reopening expenses including rent, mortgages, insurance and utilities.

Half of the funding would be set aside for businesses owned by women, veterans or minorities, or those located in an economically-distressed area.

In a statement, Jones acknowledged that small, local businesses have been hit hard during the pandemic and many have been forced to either modify operations or shutter.

"As a former dairy farmer and a member of the Assembly committees on Small Business and Agriculture, I understand the uncertainty and frustration that small business owners and farmers are dealing with," Jones continued.

"These investments will help ensure North Country communities have the support needed to build back stronger than ever.”

Jones supports funding to study broadband access

ALBANY — On Monday, State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) voiced support for allocations in the Assembly's budget proposal for study of and access to broadband services.

According to a press release, $3 million is allocated for the state Department of Public Service to study broadband service access statewide and $900,000 is for broadband in state-operated facilities.

Jones' advocacy has included sending multiple letters to the governor's office on the lack of broadband access in rural communities.

“Between mandatory shutdowns and travel restrictions, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated our dependency on technology in the home," Jones said in a statement.

"I fought to include critical funding in our one-house budget proposal to continue expanding access and help fulfill the state’s longstanding promise of broadband for all.” 

Stefanik cosponsors BOOST Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) has cosponsored the Broadening Online Opportunities through Simple Technologies (BOOST) Act.

According to a press release, the bill would allow rural homeowners to claim a $300 tax credit after purchasing a mobile hotspot or a signal booster to connect to the internet and increase connection speeds.

Such homeowners would live in rural areas where they cannot connect to the internet or where internet speeds do not currently meet federal requirements.

“The COVID pandemic has highlighted that it is essential that rural regions like the North Country have greater access to reliable broadband connection," Stefanik said in a statement.

"I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan solution that would make internet access more affordable.”


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