No Substitute: Assemblyman Kolb’s Proposed EITC Expansion Is No Substitute for Governor Cuomo’s Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

As an alternative to the Governor’s proposed phased increase in the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2019 in New York City and by mid-2021 outside of New York City, Assemblyman Brian Kolb recently proposed to increase the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 30% to 45% of the Federal EITC. The bill memorandum in support of his proposed legislation states: “Expanding the EITC is a much better alternative because it would put more money in the
taxpayers’ pockets, boost the economy and create employment opportunities for the unemployed.”

While the state’s EITC is a beneficial program for working people receiving low- and moderate wages and should be enhanced, for several reasons, it is not a substitute for increasing the state’s minimum wage. In fact, it does not even come close.