Kearns Sponsors Volunteerism Legislation

May 15, 2013

I am honoring the contributions of 142 everyday people who are working to make our District a better place, through volunteering, teaching, coaching and anyone who should be recognized for their contribution to the greater good.

Volunteerism has a rich history in the United States of America. The American tradition of seeking help from America's common man and woman regarding the country's most intractable problems starts with the Continental Army of George Washington, a volunteer force which helped defeat the British Empire. History’s examples of the American volunteer spirit are numerous.

Volunteers are, by their nature, inherently unpaid. Despite the fact that volunteers do incur costs (transportation, lost work time, etc.) which are deductible in many instances, unfortunately the volunteer's precious time expended does not receive at least some capped level of financial benefit.

I am asking that the People of New York State support a Volunteer Tax Credit Bill (A. 5266) which will incentivize volunteers to help with natural disasters, but also give back to those who volunteer in the form of a $500, $1000 and $2,500 tax breaks. The Volunteer Tax Credit Bill seeks to access the young adults, adolescents and senior citizens or segments of the population who need to be integrated in the workforce not only for the benefit of the larger community, but also for their personal benefit and edification. This bill will directly target them and incentivize their efforts in working for not-for-profits by allowing young adults to aggregate five years of yearly volunteer work for a $2,500 tax credit to be applied to the first year of their first job following college.

It also targets senior citizens and the retired, who will be allowed to transfer a yearly $500 tax credit to the benefit of their grandchildren. The volunteer community is strong in the United States with the Peace Corps and Ameri-Corps as two prime examples of government sponsored programs, however a vast group of citizens as resources remains untapped and underutilized. This bill will reach out to these dormant sectors of the population so that they may become an integral part in forging solutions for the future.

Finally, I am asking the residents of the 142nd District to contact my office to nominate a person to be a Community All-Star.

Click on the email link (kearnsm@assembly.state.ny.us) to send 142 Community All Star nominations. Please include nominees’ name, address, phone number, a short bio and your contact information.