U.S./world – Donor choice – Contributions drop

The number of charities to which taxpayers can contribute by checking boxes on their state-tax forms is growing, while total contributions made through tax-form checkoffs is shrinking, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 31.

The trends mean less money for individual charities and raise questions about whether states should endorse particular causes and use public money to administer the checkoff programs, the Journal said.

Forty-one states and the District of Columbia included a total of 170 “checkoff” boxes on their tax forms this year, up from 103 in 1989.

Taxpayers donated a total of $27.3 million through checkoffs in 2000, down from $30.1 million in 1990.

“It’s become extremely difficult for taxpayers” to sort through the crowded tax form, Jeffrey Kros of the Arizona Department of Revenue, told the Journal.

Roughly one in five checkoffs, which have grown with the help of lawmakers favoring particular charities, are in California, Alabama and Virginia, the Journal said.

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