Major Step Forward: CFNJ Advocates for State Charitable Deduction in Trenton

March 4, 2019

Moments ago, the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 2179 which would allow New Jersey taxpayers to take a state income tax deduction for contributions to qualified New Jersey charities.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey was in the room with our friends from the Center for Non-Profits and spoke with Senators on the merits of a state income tax deduction for charitable giving.

With today’s major step forward, it is now the Assembly’s turn to pass a bill out of committee.

We will continue to inform legislators and other key stakeholders that:

  • The majority of states with income taxes offer a charitable deduction. It is time for our state to reward and recognize the charitable New Jerseyans who make the work of our incredible nonprofits possible. In so doing, we will catch up to the other states already promoting charitable giving, including nearby New York, Connecticut, and Delaware.
  • Senate Bill 2179 is a bipartisan solution. Senators Tom Kean (R), Troy Singleton (D), and Steve Oroho (R) – the bill’s primary sponsors – argue that “creating a new tax deduction for charitable giving will give New Jersey’s charities a boost while providing residents a new opportunity for tax relief.”
  • Momentum is on our side. Today’s unanimous approval at the Committee level was a major step forward. As the Star-Ledger explained last year, “the bill has had some bi-partisan support in the past but never enough to move it to enactment. The sponsors feel things could be different this time as taxpayers now want every deduction they can get any way they can get it.”
  • We can show New Jerseyans of all incomes that we value their giving. The bill would enable any New Jersey taxpayer — regardless of income — to take advantage of the charitable giving deduction. This benefit would mitigate the fact that only taxpayers with incomes high enough to justify itemizing currently enjoy the federal benefit. We know from IRS data and New Jersey’s Center for Nonprofits that, in fact, lower-income families donate a higher percentage of their income to charity than higher-income taxpayers do.

Please contact us at 973-267-5533 with any questions about this issue, and please consider contacting your Assembly members to explain the benefits of a charitable deduction.