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Lawmaker Wants To Create “New York State Natural Disaster Relief Fund”

Posted By Joseph Spector On December 3, 2012 @ 11:14 am In Other | Comments Disabled

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, is proposing to create a state natural disaster relief fund to help families impacted by Superstorm Sandy and prepare for future disasters, Gannett’s Haley Viccaro reports.

[1]The New York State Natural Disaster Relief Fund would give people the choice to pay a tax-deductible donation through a voluntary check-off fund on state income tax returns for natural disaster relief.

Donations through check-off funds, such as for breast cancer research, are not tax-deductible. Kolb’s proposal would be a tax-deductible charity for disaster relief.

“My proposed New York State Natural Disaster Relief Fund, maintained by the state Department of Taxation and Finance and the state Comptroller, would allow personal and corporate taxpayers to contribute by checking a box on their state income tax returns,” Kolb said in a statement.

The eight funds on income tax forms that people can contribute to currently include Return a Gift to Wildlife, Lake Placid Olympic Training Center Fund, Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund, Missing & Exploited Children Clearinghouse Fund, Alzheimer’s Disease Fund, Prostate Cancer Research Fund, World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Fund and Volunteer Firefighting & EMS Recruitment and Retention Fund.

Creating a New York State Natural Disaster Relief Fund is one more way to ensure that families and communities impacted by natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy have additional financial resources to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Over the past five years, taxpayers contributed more than $10 million to the funds, Kolb said. He said 28,000 taxpayers made voluntary contributions of $488,878 to the Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund in 2011, and it has collected more than $8.5 million since it started in 1996.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Washington today lobbying for $42 billion in aid after Superstorm Sandy. Cuomo said the storm has been the worst natural disaster in terms of the impact on homes and businesses in New York, and he warned that the state needs to rebuild to better prepare for future storms.

“Let’s compromise, let’s come together and let’s move the country forward,” Cuomo said Nov. 28 during his visit to Rome, “and that’s what I think should happen and I believe will happen.


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