OVC ArchiveOVC
This file is provided for reference purposes only. It was current when produced, but is no longer maintained and may now be outdated. Please select www.ovc.gov to access current information.

State-Facilitated Funding by Private Citizens

Personal Income Taxes

Many states use various approaches to facilitate private giving for crime victim services. One method is to place a voluntary income tax checkoff box on tax forms that individual taxpayers may check to designate payment to crime victim programs. This is most commonly used to fund state children's trust funds.44 A few states also fund domestic violence programs this way.45 Iowa tax forms have a box that taxpayers may check to designate a payment for sexual assault and domestic violence programs.46

The amount of money that can be raised through checkoff boxes on income tax forms appears to be relatively low. The checkoff box for the Child Abuse Prevention Fund47 on Arizona's income tax form raises approximately $190,000 a year.48 Colorado's longstanding income tax form checkoff box for its Domestic Abuse Program Fund49 brought in almost $400,000 from 1999 tax returns.50 Some laws specify that if a certain amount is not raised by using an income tax form checkoff box, it will be eliminated. Montana eliminates a checkoff box from its tax form if it generates less than $10,000 in 2 consecutive years.51

Missouri also promotes the support of domestic violence programs through its income tax system by providing a tax credit for contributions to domestic violence shelters. Half of a taxpayer's contribution to any domestic violence shelter is credited against that individual's total state tax liability. Contributions during the tax year must be at least $100 to qualify for the credit, and the credit cannot exceed $50,000 a year.52

Special License Plates

Another state-sponsored activity that attracts private support for victims' programs is the sale of special license plates, commonly used to support children's programs. In Nevada, drivers can order special license plates, and the proceeds support programs for missing or exploited children.53 Ohio offers a special “Celebrate Kids!” license plate for an additional $25. Of that fee, $15 goes to support the Ohio Court-Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem to help abused, neglected, and dependent children.54 The license plate sales bring in approximately $225,000 a year.55

Juror Fees

A few states have passed laws allowing jurors to donate their fees to crime victim-related programs, including the Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer Account,56 the victim' compensation fund, the child welfare service fund, and a fund for domestic violence programs. Texas raised $199,213.50 for domestic violence programs in 1999 through these donations.57

Previous Contents Next

State Legislative Approaches to Funding for Victims' Services,
Legal Series Bulletin #9
December 2003
Archive iconThe information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.