Thursday, January 17, 2002
Legislation to Provide Tax Credits For Pro Bono Work Introduced In State Senate
By ROBERT GREENE, Staff Writer
Lawyers and doctors would get tax credits for their pro bono work under a bill introduced into the state Senate yesterday.
Sen. Ray Haynes, a Riverside Republican, called his proposal an alternative to government grant and contract funding for service providers—a process he said results in as much as 75 cents on every dollar meant for the poor being absorbed by administration.
If Senate Bill 1274 becomes law, Haynes told the MetNews, “you’re getting 100-cent dollars to the people who need it, not to government bureaucrats.”
The bill would allow a state income tax credit equal to the fair market value of services rendered by a lawyer, physician or surgeon on behalf of any nonprofit charitable organization that provides services to the poor in California.
“This would encourage professional services to be contributed to those in need,” Haynes said. “This is a way to focus and get dollars to people in need quickly, because professionals would step up” in order to reap the benefit of the credits, he said, without grant writers or other administrators as middlemen.
Haynes, who is an attorney, has been an outspoken critic of the State Bar and of state programs to aid the poor.
He said he expected his bill to encounter resistance from Democrats and from the Sacramento establishment that he said benefits politically from distributing grant money to service providers. Under his proposal, he said, “no one would be able to get any political mileage.”
He was philosophical about the bill’s chances.
“Sometimes new ideas take two or three times for people to get used to it,” Haynes said. “It may not pass the first time out. But you’re going to be seeing a lot of this kind of thing coming out of Washington. This is exactly the kind of thing President Bush is doing. And that is going to help us pass it here.”
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company