State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli revealed in an analysis that while New York state leads the nation in the number of personal income tax (PIT) check-off options, a small fraction of these contributions are actually being spent on their intended causes. In the last six years, less than one-third of the tax check-off funds have been utilized, raising concerns about the efficiency of these donations.
Contributions to the state’s PIT check-offs in the 2022-23 fiscal year amounted to $3.2 million. Despite the increase in check-off options, there has been a significant decline in the number of taxpayers donating, dropping by 63.4% since the first tax check-off in 1983-84. The introduction of a separate form for filing these check-offs is believed to be a contributing factor to this decrease.
Disbursements for many of these funds have lagged, with fund balances growing as a result. Only a few funds, like those for Breast Cancer Research and Education, have shown consistent annual spending. DiNapoli stresses the need for better compliance with reporting requirements by state agencies to clarify the use and delay of these funds.
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