January 29, 1997 - State Tax Credit Proposed for Donors to Minnesota Colleges and Universities
Contact: Melinda Voss, (651) 296-9443, firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislation giving Minnesotans a tax credit for gifts they make to colleges and universities in the state was introduced in the state Legislature today. The bills, written by Sen. John Hottinger, DFL-Mankato, and Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona, would allow individuals to receive a tax credit of 50 percent of the gift amount for gifts to accredited public or private colleges and universities in Minnesota. There would be a maximum credit of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for couples. The proposed legislation will generate an estimated $6 million credits in the first year, reflecting donations of more than $12 million to Minnesota colleges and universities. Fourteen other states currently provide tax credits for gifts to higher education. "Tax credits have worked in other states to broaden the base of support for higher education," said Luella Goldberg, chair of the University of Minnesota Foundation, a supporter of the bill. "The tax credit is an innovative public-private partnership to build needed support for colleges and universities, which are the lifeblood of our state's economy."
Minnesota colleges and universities enrolled 265,982 students in fall 1996. Most of these students are from Minnesota and get their first jobs within the state. "This legislation will generate private support needed to help our students pursue their educational goals," said Judith Eaton, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. "The tax credit can be an important tool to keep higher education affordable and accessible."
Studies have shown that investment in higher education yields a high return to the state's economy, according to David Laird, Jr., president of the Minnesota Private College Council, also a supporter of the bill. "More than at any time in the recent past," he said, "our investment in higher education in Minnesota will have a determining effect on the quality of the economy and the stability of our social structure."
Linda Berg, University of Minnesota Foundation
Jack Rhodes, MnSCU
Gary McVey, Minnesota Private College Council