January 30, 2013; Source: Pacific Business News

Did you know that Hawaii is one of only three states without a charitable giving tax incentive in its state tax structure? We didn’t either. Lisa Maruyama, president and CEO of the Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, a member of the National Council of Nonprofits, is behind a push in favor of Senate Bill 1091, which would restore the state’s currently expired charitable tax deduction. Maruyama testified that the lack of a charitable giving state tax incentive in Hawaii amounts to, in the paraphrasing of Pacific Business News, an estimated “local loss of $70 million donor dollars.”

It strikes us that most people think of their charitable deductions as a federal tax issue, using their federal tax filings as the template for their state taxes. Who or where are the givers who are closely watching not only their federal tax deductions but also their state itemized deductions as well? Are they altering their charitable giving behavior based on what the state’s tax code allows? —Rick Cohen