Pending legislation could provide tax credits that would benefit - - Jackson, MS

Pending legislation could provide tax credits that would benefit foster care system

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Foster families in Mississippi are making big sacrifices. But a bill pending at the State Capitol would give them some financial help. House Bill 1566 could pave a new way to help foster families and children in Mississippi.

“Everybody can do something and that's what we're asking everybody to really think about here," explained Ron Matis, Governor's Faith and Community Partnerships Advisory Council Chairman." Here's an opportunity for those who may not be able to bring someone into their home, may  not be able to adopt a child, they can give some money to an organization that promotes that to go a long way in addressing this issue."

The new tax credit would be for people who donate to charities that serve foster kids.

"They would get a dollar for dollar, up to $1,000, credit towards their state taxes," added Matis.

This is a model that's been successful in Arizona where they've also struggled with their foster care system. They have a dollar-for-dollar tax credit system that supports the foster children.

”Some of the services that non-profits can offer, for instance, if you get a child in foster care, you might need a bed right away," said Dr. Jameson Taylor, President of Mississippi Center for Public Policy. "You're going to need a backpack, school supplies, clothing, food. So, this is a way that non-profits can step in and assist these families to provide assistance to foster care kids."

Another aspect of the legislation would double tax credits for families who are adopting---including those who are trying to foster to adopt. It would go from $2,500 to $5,000.

"It's going to help more middle-class families adopt," added Taylor. "It's going to help more middle-class families help kids in foster care who are longing to be adopted. For families that really are longing to adopt that have it in their hearts to adopt, that little bit of extra money can help."

The Governor created a Faith and Community Partnerships Advisory council that's been advocating for this legislation.

"There are thousands of churches of all denominations across this great state and if one family in each church would make it a priority to be a part of the solution, we could solve the foster care crisis in Mississippi," noted Matis.

This bill is now in conference and House and Senate members will try to hammer out a compromise before final passage.

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