Legislation would review the charities on tax form
Californians rushing to wrap up their 2013 taxes on Tuesday could choose from 20 charitable causes to support on their state tax forms.
From sea otters to the California Senior Legislature, voluntary tax form contributions raised about $4.8 million in 2012. More than $102 million has been donated through the program since it began in 1982.
Pending legislation would revamp the program, with the goal of making it fairer and allowing more charities to tap into taxpayers’ charitable impulses.
Senate Bill 1207 by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would require charitable organizations to meet certain standards before they could qualify for space on the form. A state office would oversee the new program and, along with the Franchise Tax Board, work out its details by 2017.
The bill is opposed by the California Association of Food Banks and California Professional Firefighters. Both participate in efforts that receive money from existing tax checkoffs.
“The hard reality is, you know, the more that are on the list, the more the revenues are shared,” said Christy Bouma, a lobbyist for the firefighters union.
“After awhile, you kind of feel that you deserve all the perks of office, because you’ve suffered so much, you’ve given up so much.”