More than cookies and popcorn

LANSING — Sen. John Proos and Rep. Margaret O’Brien have introduced legislation that would allow residents to make voluntary donations on their state tax returns to help support the state’s Boy and Girl Scouts.

“Both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts help develop the next generation of leaders by helping young people build confidence, character and the ability to relate to others,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “As a staunch advocate of scouting, I am proud to work with Representative O’Brien to help give all Michigan residents the opportunity to support both these two worthy organizations by simply checking a box on their state income tax form.”

House Bill 4559 and Senate Bill 320 would establish the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of Michigan Fund, create an income tax check-off box for the scouting fund and require donations to be equally distributed between the two organizations. Residents would be able to make voluntary donations beginning with the 2013 tax year.

“These voluntary donations would have no impact on the state budget, yet they could greatly benefit our Scouts,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “The mission of these organizations is to help young people build relationships in the community and develop strong leadership skills. These bills will give more Michigan residents the opportunity to support the Scouts’ continued efforts across our great state.”

In the 2011 tax year, more than $837,000 was raised by six funds with check-offs on the state income tax form. If a fund fails to generate $50,000 for two consecutive tax years, it is removed. Since 2009, nine funds have been removed due to inadequate support.

“Expanding the fund to equally assist Michigan’s Boy and Girl Scouts would help us ensure that residents will be able to support all our Scouts with these donations for years to come,” Proos said. “It would also make a statement that we support all scouting and the lessons it instills in our youth — lessons of leadership, responsibility, citizenship and teamwork.”


Editor’s Note—Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at: Click on Podcasts.