Rep. Max Rose wants Congress to save youth sports and activity groups that are currently facing extinction due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus.
In a letter to the Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Rose noted that many youth activities like dance lessons, little league teams and art camps are usually volunteer based and spend their funds on equipment and supplies, making them ineligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Youth sports and activities are so essential to why Staten Island and South Brooklyn is the best place to raise a family,” Rose said in a statement. “But unfortunately due to fixed costs and cancelled seasons due to the pandemic, these organizations are hanging by a thread. My proposal allows parents to recoup costs and fees without putting these leagues and programs out of business.”
To save the camps and kid-friendly activities, Rose has proposed to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit so it includes all fees and costs associated with youth activities beyond the current cap. As of now, families can claim up to $3,000 in dependent care expenses for one child. Depending on family income, under the proposal, they could get 20-35% of what they spend on these activities in a tax credit on top of the $3,000 in dependent care expenses.
Youth activities and sports camps provide children with structure during the summer months and gives parents a much needed break from round-the-clock childcare, which has become the norm for many since March.
Rose has been a strong supporter of youth sports leagues in the past. In 2019 he worked alongside Staten Island Borough President James Oddo to pass a resolution between the Staten Island Soccer League and the National Park Service that helped increase maintenance on soccer fields and allowed the local soccer season to start on time for the first time in years, according to his office.
“Unfortunately, for small businesses and organizations like Little League teams, dance studios, art schools for children, associated fees with these programs have already been spent on equipment, supplies, rent, and other expenditures,” wrote Rose in the letter. “These programs are the cultural foundation of Staten Island, South Brooklyn, and in cities across the nation, and serve an invaluable function in the lives of our developing youth. Any COVID-19 relief bill must address this, as these organizations, and the working parents that support them, are nearing the brink.”