Hochul Backs Doubling Farm Worker Tax Credit

Marilee Foster of Foster Farm worker Long Island
Marilee Foster of Foster Farm works in Sagaponack, on New York’s Long Island, U.S., July 2, 2019. Picture taken July 2, 2019
REUTERS/Lindsay Morris

East End farmers would see big gains in their tax credit eligibility under a New York State proposal intended to ease the economic burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she is proposing the doubling of the Farm Workforce Retention Credit, as well as an increase in the Investment Tax Credit and supporting the agricultural industry with a tax credit for the overtime hours it is paying.

“The farmers who supply restaurant kitchens — and our own — need a lifeline as well,” Hochul said on January 5 during her first state of the state address. “I’ve visited farms from Genesee County to the North Fork of Long Island, and life is tough, even in good years. … This will also begin to address the workforce shortage so many farms struggle with.”

Last year, the state Senate passed a $200 increase per employee to the $800 per employee Farm Workforce Retention Credit and proposed the permanent extension of a $1,200 credit for tax year 2022 and beyond, but the bill did not pass the state Assembly. Doubling the credit was previously proposed in 2018.

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