Taking the Road Less Traveled: Fostering Private Charity Care

Our current welfare system is failing our most vulnerable citizens and bankrupting our commonwealth. Despite skyrocketing welfare spending, 15,420 individuals with intellectual disabilities are waiting for services, and nearly 3,790 of these are emergency cases. It’s time we begin considering more innovative policies that can help the truly needy without jeopardizing Pennsylvania’s fiscal future.

Recently, the State House Committee on Human Services considered HB 386, sponsored by Rep. Scott Boyd, to create a business tax credit for supporting community-based intellectual disability services. Businesses could donate to qualifying providers and receive a 50 percent tax credit in the first year and a 75 percent credit in the following years. Tax credits are capped at $100,000 per business and the annual cap for all tax credits is $30 million.

Complicating the tax code with additional tax credits is not ideal, but any policy that shifts charity from the government to individuals is a move in the right direction. Encouraging private donations could go a long way towards helping thousands of needy Pennsylvanians without increasing the taxpayer burden.