Each year, New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance receives more than 150,000 state income-tax returns that include contributions to charitable causes ranging from wildlife protection to research and education on prostate cancer, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
The first time the state offered taxpayers an opportunity to make a contribution was in 1983, when the one option was donating to wildlife preservation. Over the years, lawmakers have added seven more causes. The most recent was in the 2011 fiscal year, with a tax check-off for volunteer firefighter and emergency medical services recruitment and retention.
Donations totaled $1.9 million in the 2011 fiscal year, a 3.8 percent drop from the previous year. The total number of contributions peaked in 1984 at 344,732 and was more than 200,000 every year until 1991. The last time there were more than 200,000 donations was in 2000.
Read more in tomorrow’s Journal News/Lohud.com on the Tax Watch page.