By Gina Martinez
State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and staffers from Urban Unbound celebrated the conclusion of a successful 2017 partnership in providing free tax services for his constituents.
Kim held a private appreciation luncheon last Friday with volunteers and staffers from the community organization after a fifth straight year of its providing free tax preparation services.
Urban Upbound, founded in 2005, is a community organization dedicated to tackling poverty in working-class, low-income neighborhoods, and to providing resources to further economic mobility. The organization offers many social services and programs that include financial counseling, college preparation, career development services and The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
A VITA site was established at Kim’s district office from Jan. 24 to April 18 with the closing of tax season. VITA services were provided every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to Kim, this year the partnership helped New York residents file more than 1,252 tax returns with over $1.1 million in total tax refund claims. VITA helped put over $413,000 back into the pockets of working families through the Earned Income Tax Credit, he said.
The assemblyman said that money makes a difference in the lives of ordinary New Yorkers.
“As a result of this five-year partnership, we have now brought back more than $5 million to our constituents in total tax refund claims,” he said. “Many of the families and individuals that walk through our doors are recent immigrants or have limited financial literacy; some of them have relied on our free tax preparation service for years. I thank Urban Upbound for working with us through the years to establish a VITA site in my office, and look forward to continuing our partnership on behalf of all New Yorkers.”
Dave Miller, CFO at Urban Upbound, said he looks forward to working with Kim and Flushing residents next year.
“The partnership with Assemblyman Ron Kim continues to grow and makes a big impact in New York City, especially with his constituents.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart