ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) - This year's NYS budget currently being discussed by lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo could mean some people will get a $350 tax rebate in the mail from the state, but not everyone will be eligible.
The rebate is designed to help New York's struggling middle class families. So far, it is supposed to work out like this: A $350 rebate would be refunded to families with household incomes of $40,000 to $300,000 a year with at least one child under the age of 18.
While many Western New York families could use the $350, reaching that $40,000 threshold would be a tall order.
Worker Chequita Smith said, "Not too many are making $40,000 that really could use it, and the ones that are not eligible for it - say they are making $18,000 to $20,000, who could really use it - they can't benefit from it."
Budget analysts estimate only 400,000 families would qualify for the rebate but it would devour a $150 million chunk out of the state budget.
Jennifer Diagostino of the Coalition for Economic Justice said, "Who is benefiting from what? Are low wage workers and true middle class workers the people who are benefiting from this, or is this just a way to hand out benefits to people who don't really need them?"
Mother Petrice Neyman said, "In order to benefit, they need to make it for the majority of middle class people who don't make $40,000 or more. That is what I think.?"
The rebate plan is getting the support of the Democratic leadership in the Assembly and Republicans in the State Senate. But the checks would not be mailed out until sometime next year, about the time state lawmakers would be running for re-election.
But why did they pick the income guidelines of $40,000 to $300,000? One lawmaker told News 4 they are trying to get money back into the hands of families who make too much to qualify for the Earned Income Tax credit.
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