The Board of Aldermen’s Human Services Committee convened Wednesday evening to allow over 40 nonprofit organizations in New Haven to solicit corporations for donations through the Neighborhood Assistance Act.
The NAA Tax Exemption Program, run by the state’s Department of Revenue Services, encourages corporations to donate to community service organizations by giving them 60 percent of the amount donated back in the form of corporate tax credit. The size of donations can range from $250 to $150,000, though over half of the nonprofit organizations applying this year indicated they would request the maximum funding from corporations.
Like the other Connecticut cities participating in the program, New Haven’s municipal government acts as a liaison between the organizations and the state, approving the list of organizations’ requests. Cathy Carbonaro-Schroeter, deputy director of the New Haven’s Housing Preservation and Development division, testified for the committee in favor of approving the list of organizations’ requests for funding through the NAA.
“It benefits the corporations because they get tax exemptions, and it benefits community programs because they get more money in their budgets,” she said. “It’s a win-win.”
Corporations funding certain programs directly aiding energy conservation efforts get back 100 percent of their donation in the form of corporate tax exemption from the Department of Revenue Services. This year, almost half of the projects fall under this exemption, including those by the Shubert Theater, Neighborhoods Housing Services of New Haven and Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven.
The committee approved the order unanimously after Carbonaro-Schroeter testimony, and the proposals will now proceed to the Connecticut Department of Revenue for final approval by July 1. Carbonaro-Schroeter said the longstanding NAA process remains practically the same from year to year.
In their proposals for eligibility for the program, community organizations must include a detailed description of the specific programs they intend to fund, sources of other funding or revenue and a full program budget, according to a memorandum distributed by Carbonaro-Schoeter. The organizations have to apply for funding from each corporate donor individually.
The businesses that have supported the program in the past will most likely do it again, said Ward 11 Alderwoman Barbara Constantinople. Carbonaro-Schoester, meanwhile, stressed that none of the nonprofit revenue generated by the NAA would come from the cash-strapped city budget.
Ward 1 Alderman Sarah Eidelson ’12 said it it beneficial that the city be involved in the funding process to some extent by approving the organizations.
“It’s nice to have a moment in the process to check on it,” she said.
The list of organizations that applied to participate in the NAA includes Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and Junta for Progressive Action.