Utah bill focuses on option of donating to Scouts on tax returns

Feb 26 2013 - 12:33am

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A bill giving state taxpayers the option of checking a box on the state tax returns to potentially help the Boy Scouts has cleared a House committee review.

Members of the House revenue and Taxation Standing Committee voted Monday to give a favorable recommendation to HB 145, which would provide the income tax donation option to the Scouts as a check-off box. The bill now advances to the House for further consideration.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, the bill enacts an income tax contribution for a youth development organization that has at least 180,000 members. Eliason admits the bill was written with Boy Scouts in mind. Rep. Tim Cosgrove, D-Murray, asked why the bill wasn't extended to include Girl Scouts as well and was told by Eliason it would dilute the purpose of the measure.

Rep. Jacob Anderegg, R-Orem, said he loves Scouting but does not support using staff coffers to collect for the organization.

Eliason noted the state already uses the tax check-off to benefit a number of nonprofit groups.

"I think it is the proper role of government in a small way to facilitate that."

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