Endow Iowa Tax Credit Rewards Charitable Giving

BY STEVE DINNEN

Here’s a law everyone can get behind: the Endow Iowa Tax Credit.

Legislators in 2003 started a tax break program that allows credits of 25 percent of a charitable donation made through one of Iowa’s 17 community foundations. The program has to be renewed every year.

The program began in 2003 and initially was capped at $2 million. Lately the cap has been $6 million. That’s for the entire state, but it’s a good deal for someone who gets it because a $10,000 gift, for instance, gets $2,500 knocked of your state tax bill. (Plus, you get a deduction on your federal tax bill.)

That $6 million limit was reached in January, the earliest ever, according to Kristi Knous, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Gifts that exceed that amount go to the head of the line for next year’s credits—if they are renewed.

The beauty of Endow Iowa lies with the way the math multiplies the amount of giving. That $6 million worth of credits means $24 million was donated. Since inception, Endow Iowa has generated more than a quarter-billion dollars for charitable purposes statewide.

So let your local lawmaker know it’s perfectly OK to give Endow Iowa another year. Or two.

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