Washington (DC) January 20, 2010- Congressman Al Green (TX-09) signed on as an original co-sponsor of legislation to provide Americans with a tax benefit on their 2009 tax returns for charitable contributions made to relief efforts in the Republic of Haiti. The bill (H.R. 4462), passed the House with a voice vote.
The 7.0 earthquake ravaged the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, the city of Jacmel and the city of Carrefour. Tremors brought immediate devastation to these cities, taking the lives of approximately 200,000 people and leaving tens of thousands missing. The earthquake left an estimated 1.5 million homeless, has completely destroyed most of the infrastructure in the capital, and was deemed the largest seismic event of this magnitude in over two centuries in the Republic of Haiti.
Providing a tax benefit on charitable contributions would offer an incentive for American citizens to give during an essential period for the relief effort in Haiti. Several charities saw a significant drop in contributions, which fund the entirety of their operations, due to the economic crisis. Non-profit organizations will need considerable resources to provide the long-term services for a population devastated by a natural disaster. This tax benefit will ensure those resources are funded by an outpouring of generosity from the American people.
Congressman Green fully supported the measure, stating that, “In the face of this grave tragedy, the American people have given from their hearts as well as their pockets, to assist the people of Haiti during this time of extreme hardship and turmoil. Their philanthropy should not go unnoticed, especially as many people have chosen to donate at a time when their own financial well being is uncertain.”
The bill will allow for persons who contribute to the relief efforts in Haiti between January 11, 2010 and March 1, 2010 to claim their donations as charitable contributions on their 2009 federal income tax return.