Officials should rethink tax credits

We would urge Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature to re-examine tax credits that once were used to assist certain charities, food banks and homelesss shelters.

The credit was eliminated in 2011 as a means of helping to balance the state budget.

The tax break was an incentive for taxpayers to gain an extra credit on their state income taxes and according to a report in the Detroit Free Press this week, statistics show the credit worked well.

The newspaper reported that the Coalition on Temporary Shelter in Detroit experienced a 10 percent decrease in donations from 2011 to 2012. In the last year of the 50 percent tax credit, the shelter received 1,023 contributions between $200-$400. Contributions dropped to 866 last year, the first year the credit no longer was available.

Similar statistics exist for other groups across the state.

We don’t argue the fact that something needed done in 2011 to address the state’s economic condition. And, in defense of the governor and legislators, today the state is in a much healthier economic position that what it was then.

Given that to be the case, we don’t believe reimplementing the credit would jeopardize that economic good fortune and instead, would encourage giving to an important element of the state’s recovery network.

The Alpena News