Senate OKs Jones legislation to allow tax donations to American Red Cross

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved measures sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to allow residents to make voluntary donations on their state tax returns to help support the American Red Cross in Michigan.

“The American Red Cross has been one of our country’s most impactful and dedicated humanitarian organizations for more than a century,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “My bill would give all Michigan taxpayers an opportunity to support the mission of the Red Cross by simply checking a box on their state income tax form.”

Senate Bill 429 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.

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 the Michigan chapters.

“These donations 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.”

In the 2014 tax year, nearly $629,000 was raised by nine funds with checkoffs on the state income tax form.

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.

SBs 428-429 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.