Schuitmaker and Colbeck push for restoration of charitable tax credits

For Immediate Release
Feb. 28, 2014

Jennifer Murray (Colbeck)
Derek Sova (Schuitmaker)

LANSING, Mich.—Sens. Patrick Colbeck and Tonya Schuitmaker have introduced legislation restoring the tax credits for donations made to some charities.

“Many of the organizations working to provide support to the neediest and most vulnerable members of our communities count on donations from generous citizens,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “When these credits were eliminated, it had a negative effect on these groups.”

Senate Bill 835, introduced by Colbeck, will allow taxpayers to receive credits for donations made to public art, radio, colleges, universities or museums. Senate Bill 836, introduced by Schuitmaker, will allow a taxpayer to claim a credit for donations made to food banks, homeless shelters and community foundations. 

“Different institutions that have relied on public funding have seen their support decline as the economy has struggled,” said Colbeck, R-Canton. “This legislation will eliminate a disincentive that may be preventing people from making a donation to a cause that’s important to them.”

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

“Many of our tax dollars are spent on social programs,” Schuitmaker added. “If a taxpayer decides to contribute directly to a shelter or other community organization that is fulfilling the mission of these social programs, they shouldn’t be taxed on that contribution.”

“Between federal, state and local taxes, our citizens are taxed enough,” said Colbeck. “I have always believed that people have a right to spend their hard-earned money how they please, and if they choose to give to these worthwhile causes, government shouldn’t stand in their way.”

The credit would be worth up to 50 percent of the contributions made with a maximum credit of $100 for a single filer or $200 for a joint filer.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.