Raleigh, N.C. — Update: The bill has been changed since it was first filed. It now only allows for a voluntary contribution to the state made through the Office of the State Treasurer. The new version eliminates language about allowing for a tax checkoff.
So, after tallying up your tax bill for the year, would you be willing to chip in a little more toward your favorite state service? Maybe for ol' alma mater?
That's the premise behind House Bill 912, which the House Finance Committee approved Tuesday morning.
The measure, which next goes to the House floor, would require that the Department of Revenue include a box on North Carolina's tax returns for those who wish to pay more. Those paying above and beyond could designate the extra money go toward one of the following departments:
- The Department of Cultural Resources
- The Department of Health and Human Services
- The Department of Public Instruction
- The Department of Public Safety
- The General Fund of the State of North Carolina
- The University of North Carolina
The General Fund is the equivalent of North Carolina's checking account, which goes to meet any number of needs, including paying off debt and, oddly enough, issuing tax refunds. The Department of Cultural Resources oversees attractions such as museums.
"This basically gives citizens of the state ... a way to make contributions," said Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham, during the three-minute long committee discussion.
This is not a completely unprecedented idea. There is already a line on the form for donating to the Endangered Wildlife Fund.
Although the debate was short Tuesday morning, lawmakers have run similar bills in the past to make the point that, if people were truly unhappy with cuts to government services, they should chip in to blunt the cuts.