Elimination of charitable tax credit nothing more than state tax reform

Guest Editorial
Question: If a spark of charity were to arise in your heart, would it die for lack of a tax credit?

We hope not. Which is one reason we aren’t overly concerned by the state’s recent tightening up of its charitable tax credit law. Under the recently approved state budget, Michigan tax credits for donations to food banks, homeless shelters and community foundations are now history.

In 2009, more than 234,000 Michigan taxpayers received an average $81 credit against their taxes for donating to homeless shelters and food banks. About 35,000 people got an average credit of $93 for giving to community foundations.

We view this change as a state tax reform. It is an effort to use the taxpayers’ dollars wisely, not “spending” them endlessly on tax incentives without occasional review.

Now comes the acid test: With the loss of a state tax credit, will people still give toward the needs of others? We are confident that will continue.