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For Immediate Release
GEORGIA CHAMBER PARTNERS WITH THE GEORGIA HEART CAMPAIGN
HEART tax credit assists rural hospitals with increased funding to help Georgians
ATLANTA – September 28, 2016 – The Georgia Chamber is partnering with Georgia HEART to support rural hospitals throughout the state improve their ability to provide healthcare to thousands of Georgians.
Beginning January 1, 2017, the Georgia HEART hospital program will provide Georgia taxpayers with an exciting opportunity to make a charitable contribution to a qualified local hospital of their choosing. The measure allows taxpayers who donate to receive a state income tax credit for 70 percent of the amount of the contribution. In addition, those who itemize their deductions will be able to take a charitable income tax deduction on their federal income tax returns.
With Georgia continuing to lead the nation as the number one state for business, access to healthcare is an issue the Georgia Chamber fully supports. Last month, the Chamber’s Healthcare task force presented three proposals aimed at closing the coverage gap and shoring up the state’s ailing provider network. “Partnering with Georgia HEART, is in line with our mission to help enhance access to rural treatment. Our hope is the business community will support this important campaign,” said Georgia Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark.
Atlanta-based Portage Charity Advisors created the HEART program as a turnkey solution to help qualifying hospitals navigate the contribution marketing, processing, tracking, and reporting requirements relating to the law. The Georgia HEART program is a collaboration between Portage, the Georgia Hospital Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Although the Georgia Department of Revenue (“DOR”) will not start approving tax credits for interested taxpayers until January 2017, 12 of the 49 eligible rural hospital organizations have already elected to participate in the HEART program. Jim Kelly, Director of Georgia HEART, expects more hospitals to do so. “These early participants are using our marketing and communications materials to contact and educate potential donors in their communities,” said Kelly. “Their donors will also be able to contribute with confidence that the experienced Georgia HEART team will handle in a timely and competent manner all aspects of the contribution process, which must comply with applicable DOR rules.”
The availability of the tax credit was designed to “bridge the gap” for rural hospitals, many of which face significant demographic, industry, and financial challenges. To take the first step towards receiving this tax credit complete the HEART Tax Credit Form in the Donate Section at www.georgiaheart.org.