Contributions to Sacred Heart, Good Samaritan Hospitals qualify for state tax credit program

For a limited time, Georgia taxpayers can receive a 90 percent state tax credit when they contribute to designated rural hospitals – including St. Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia and St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro – through the new Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program.


The program, created by Senate Bill 180, allows taxpayers to receive 90 percent credit on their state taxes for contributions of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for married couples. "C" corporations can receive credit for up to 75 percent of their total Georgia income tax liability. In addition, these contributions can be claimed as charitable deductions on federal income tax returns.


Because this is a tax credit, the contribution is applied directly against the amount the taxpayer owes in state taxes. So, if a married couple gives $10,000 to a designated rural hospital, the actual amount of Georgia income tax they will owe is reduced by $9,000. The new law creates a pool of up to $60 million in tax credits for three years – 2017, 2018 and 2019 – with each hospital having access to up to $4 million each year.


The program is designed to provide vital funding for rural hospitals in Georgia, many of which are facing major financial challenges. Initially, SB 180 provided for 70 percent tax credits, but the law was amended to increase the credit limit to a full 90 percent to make the program even more attractive to taxpayers.