Utah Senate advances tax check-off for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts

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The Legislature gave final passage Wednesday to create new state tax income tax form check-offs to benefit both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

The Utah Senate voted 23-2 to pass HB145, and the House then approved Senate amendments — to add the Girl Scouts — on a 58-15 vote.

The bill originally proposed a check-off only for Boy Scouts. After that initially passed the House, Girl Scouts protested the inequality — so a Senate committee added a second check-off for them.

It allows Utahns to donate any amount they choose on their income tax forms to the groups.

If groups fail to collect $30,000 a year for three straight years from check-offs, state law requires removing them from tax forms. The new bill is written so that if either the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts eventually are removed, they both will be removed — so they are tied together to keep things equal.

According to the State Tax Commission, groups now receiving check-offs last year split a combined $223,457 in donations offered from 13,646 returns.

That included: the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund, $59,791; Kurt Oscarson Children's Organ Transplant Fund, $54,183; the Cat & Dog Community Spay and Neuter Program, $43,408; donations to local schools, $33,730; the Utah Nongame Wildlife Account, $28,024; and the Methamphetamine House Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Fund, $4,321.

Lee Davidson