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DiNapoli urges New Yorkers to take advantage of state college saving plans

Ryan Delaney
WRVO News file photo
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. (file photo)

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is urging New Yorkers to invest in a 529 College Saving Program, which helps families save money for college tuition. DiNapoli says parents, grandparents and others can open an account for a child, and receive tax credits of up to $10,000 annually for their contributions.

More than 800,000 529 College Saving Program accounts have been set up in New York, but DiNapoli says many more could take advantage of the program.

"I think there are probably still many people that don't know about the program, is one aspect," DiNapoli said. "I think the other concern is, look, we're still going through a tough economic time and there are other expenses that are of a more urgent or pressing need."

The comptroller's office released a report about the number of accounts in each county across the state to draw attention to the program. For example, in Oswego County more than 2,300 people have established one of the saving plans. In Onondaga County, where there's about four times as many people, nearly 20,000 accounts are active.

"We know that a college education provides a more secure future down the road, meaning people can make more money, generally speaking," DiNapoli said. "That means they pay more taxes and that's good for everybody in New York."

The comptroller also says people often don't realize that the earlier they start saving, the more money will be available when a child is ready to go to college.