May 6, 2016, was a big day for Arizona non-profits.
With overwhelming approval from the Arizona Legislature, Governor Doug Ducey signed into law SB1216. This law doubles the amount individuals and couples filing jointly can claim in tax credits for donations to charitable organizations, such as St. Vincent de Paul. The maximum credit increased to $400 for single individuals and $800 for married couples, filing jointly. The vote, which passed in the Senate 29-1 and the House 41-18, has great potential in changing the present work being done to help fight poverty and hunger in Arizona.
What does this mean for charitable organizations statewide? For St. Vincent de Paul, this law makes an incredible difference in the work we do.
Since 1946, St. Vincent de Paul has been working to feed, clothe, house and heal Arizonans in need. Starting from one volunteer-run food pantry at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, we now operate a medical clinic, dental clinic, outreach to the homeless, a transitional housing shelter, five dining rooms, 17 thrift stores and 83 volunteer-run food pantries.
In 2015, we provided more than 10 million nourishing meals through our dining rooms and food boxes. This fall, when funding was scheduled to run out for the overflow shelter services at the Human Services Campus, we collaborated with county, state and agency partners to house up to 250 people overnight in our downtown dining room. This temporary overflow shelter will remain open and funded through February — crucial months for those experiencing homelessness in Phoenix.
All of this work could not be done without the generous and compassionate support of the community. Like many charitable organizations, St. Vincent de Paul depends on financial gifts from community members to be able to serve people in need each year.
The unfortunate reality is that the need is growing.
That’s why we want to extend our sincere thanks to the Arizona State Legislature and Governor Doug Ducey for passing this law at such a critical time. The tax credit increase not only provides an incredible incentive for taxpayers who donate to certain qualifying charities like St. Vincent de Paul, but also helps thousands of struggling families and homeless individuals meet their basic needs.
For more information or if you are interested in making a tax credit gift to St. Vincent de Paul, please visit www.charitytaxcreditaz.com.
Steve Zabilski is executive director of St. Vincent de Paul, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the poor and providing others with the opportunity to serve. St. Vincent de Paul has been assisting central and northern Arizona families since 1946.