MLAs will debate raising the non-refundable charitable tax credit to make it easier for Albertans to give to charity.
Last week Peace River MLA Dan Williams tabled Private Members Bill 202, called the Alberta Personal Income Tax (Charitable and Other Gifts) Amendment Act, that proposes raising the tax credit from 10 per cent to 60 per cent for donations under $200.
When combined with the federal rebate of 15 per cent, this would bring Alberta’s charitable giving refund in-line with political donations at 75 per cent for donations under $200.
“Seventy-five per cent between the two is really remarkable and we do hope that it leads to greater giving and ability for people who are doing tax planning,” said Mitch Thomson, executive director at Red Deer Food Bank.
He said an organization like the food bank receives most of its donations from individuals giving $20 to $100 at a time.
“At the end of the day people can only do what they’re able to do. We truly appreciate any gift that someone gives. However, in an instance when a person can make a contribution and get up to 75 per cent of that as relief on their tax return, it does provide an incentive to those who have that ability to contribute to nonprofits.”
He said cash donations help increase the food bank’s buying power when purchasing opportunities arise. Right now donations are running a little behind, but it’s improving with successful Stuff A Bus and Charity Checkstop campaigns, and other great community initiatives.
“We’re hopeful, but it is a very difficult time. We are still just keeping up. We’re not yet stocked to a point where we’re reserving food for next year.”
Thomson said it’s a trying financial time for Albertans and the food bank is grateful for any donations.
“We’re just ecstatic at how the community continues to step forward and do the best they can.”
Alberta Cancer Foundation CEO Wendy Beauchesne said in a statement that Bill 202 is “a huge leap forward in helping to create a strong, vibrant, and sustainable charitable sector.”
Williams said if passed, Bill 202 will make it easier for Albertans to give back and help both donors and recipients.
“This is something we can all support,” Williams said.
Bill 202 will be debated in the legislature this session.