NYS Senator Jen Metzger announced a new bill she has introduced to increase the Farm Workforce Retention Credit from $600 to $1,200, allowing eligible farm employers to claim a refundable tax credit for each farm employee who works 500 or more hours each year. Under the current tax law, New York farmers received $500 per eligible employee in 2019, and would receive $400 in 2020 and $600 in 2021, at which point the existing law would sunset. Metzger’s legislation would extend the tax credit indefinitely.
Metzger’s new bill would increase the tax credit from $600 to $800 starting January 1, 2021, and then double the credit to $1,200 per employee starting January 1, 2022. In addition to keeping many New York farms out of the red, the bill is intended to enhance New York farmers’ ability to attract and maintain skilled workers, instead of losing them to farms in nearby states.
“New York farmers contend with significantly higher labor and other costs than farmers in other states and internationally, making it very difficult for them to compete,” said Senator Metzger, who anticipates Assembly Agriculture Chair Donna Lupardo to introduce the legislation in the Assembly.