Illinois “Borrows” Charitable Contributions Made Through Tax Return Checkoffs

June 30, 2011

This year residents of Illinois made charitable contributions to the state totaling $1.176 million, which the state is now using instead to help reduce its cash-flow problems.

Although this revenue came from funds designated for charities through tax return check-offs, Illinois law permits the government to borrow this money as long as it’s repaid with interest within 18 months:

“My concern is that the taxpayers don’t know that they’re donating to charities that don’t even get their money. It just seems really inappropriate to use charities to pull money in, and then pull that money out to pay for bills,” said Stephanie Record, executive director of the Crisis Nursery of Champaign County. “This is crazy.”[…]

But the borrowing has held up several grants, including four slated for researchers investigating Alzheimer’s disease. About $112,500 was “swept” from the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund last year, and another $135,000 was borrowed this spring, state figures show. […]

“It is most unfortunate that the state must now divert these funds at a time when the number of persons with Alzheimer’s is increasing and caregivers are facing additional burdens and significant stress brought on by their caregiver responsibilities, impacting their health as well,” the Greater Illinois Alzheimer’s Association said in a statement.

Last year Illinois residents were less generous via their tax return checkoffs, donating only $436,000.

The full story can be read here.

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