Businesses that make charitable food donations would be permitted to deduct contributions from their state income taxes under a measure that cleared the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee on June 6.
The bill A1914, sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber, would mirror the federal income tax deduction for food donations made from business inventory.
“New Jerseyans are some of the most charitable people in the world,” said Webber (Morris). “It’s time the state starts to reward businesses that make the effort to eliminate waste and help feed the hungry. By offering an incentive like a state tax deduction, we hope to reward those who already do good, encourage more donations, and recognize the businesses that selflessly serve our communities.”
More than a dozen states, including neighboring New York and Delaware, already offer some type of a state-level income tax deduction for charitable food donations. Legislation seeking to create a deduction in New Jersey has been introduced every year for over a decade.
“This is an important piece of legislation that needs to get over the finish line,” said Webber.
To be eligible for the deduction, businesses would have to make the donation to an organization that the IRS has determined is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. In addition, the food must fit the federal definition of “apparently wholesome food,” which means it meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.