Jones’ Red Cross income tax donation bills heading to governor

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan residents would be able to make voluntary donations on their state tax returns to help support the American Red Cross under legislation on its way to the governor’s desk.

Senate Bill 429, sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones, would create an individual income tax checkoff in support of the American Red Cross in Michigan. This would allow taxpayers to choose to direct $5, $10, or more of their income tax return to the American Red Cross in Michigan.

“For more than a century, the American Red Cross has been one of our country’s most impactful and dedicated humanitarian organizations,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “I look forward to seeing the governor sign this legislation — giving Michigan taxpayers a chance to support the Red Cross and its mission by simply checking a box on their state income tax form.”

SB 428 would require the creation of the American Red Cross Michigan Fund within the Department of Treasury. The fund would receive donations from the income tax checkoff to be given to the mid-Michigan chapter of the American Red Cross for distribution to all of the Michigan chapters.

“While these donations would have no impact on the state budget, they could help make possible a tremendous amount of good work,” Jones said. “As a donor who has given more than 22 gallons of blood, I have seen first-hand the Red Cross’ outstanding work as the country’s largest single supplier of blood and blood products. They are also there in times of great need — from helping a single family after a home fire to assisting an entire community after a natural disaster.”

There were eight funds with checkoffs still on the 2015 state income tax form. Those funds raised nearly $600,000 during the 2014 tax year.

Michigan law limits the number of income tax checkoffs allowed in a single year to 10 and requires that a checkoff that failed to raise at least $50,000 in a single tax year for two consecutive years must be removed from the income tax form.