Senate panel OKs package to restore charitable tax credits

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Lansing, Mich. — The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved legislation to restore tax credits for certain donations.

Senate Bills 461-464, introduced by state Sens. Colbeck, Schuitmaker and Hansen, would restore credits eliminated in 2011 for charitable donations to libraries, colleges and universities, food banks and homeless shelters. Credits would also be reinstated for adoption expenses and automobile donations.

“Families and individuals know the most appropriate way to spend their money; they do not need the government’s oversight,” said Colbeck, R-Canton. “By restoring these deductions we are putting more hard-earned money back into the hands of taxpayers and providing them with an incentive to reach out and help their neighbors in the manner in which they see fit.”

“These charitable programs have a positive effect on our citizens and our society,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “When these credits were eliminated, it negatively impacted many of these groups. Giving taxpayers an incentive to donate to these programs will go a long way toward protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”

“Parents who have the means to provide loving and permanent families for children through adoption may not be able to afford to adopt,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “Restoring the adoption credit will benefit parents and children by making adoption a more viable option again.”

The charitable tax credits were eliminated in 2011 as part of a comprehensive tax reform that sought to reduce taxes and treat taxpayers equally.

SB 461, introduced by Colbeck, would allow taxpayers to receive a credit for donations made to various programs in public art, libraries, radio, institutions of higher learning and museums. SB 462, sponsored by Schuitmaker, would allow a taxpayer to receive a credit for donations made to food banks and kitchens, homeless shelters, and community foundations. SBs 463 and 464, introduced by Hansen, would allow a taxpayer to receive a credit to offset qualified expenses for adoptions and a credit for automobile donations to qualified charitable organizations, respectively.

The credit amount would be up to 50 percent of the charitable contribution made. The maximum credit would not exceed $100 or $200 for a joint return for SB 461-462; $1200 for SB 463 (adoption bills); and $50 or $100 for a joint return for SB 464 (auto donation).

The bills now head to the full Senate for consideration.

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