Every July 1, Florida charities line up inside the Capitol to apply for the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program, which offers business owners a state tax credit worth $50 for every $100 they donate to charity.
This year's giveaway was more like a gold rush. Within two hours, all $10-million in credits were gone. It took 80 days for the money to run out last year.
Program administrator Burt Von Hoff is taking seriously criticism of the program's first-come, first-serve format. A survey given to participants asks whether the state should instead collect applications over a period of months, then treat them equally.
Other questions included whether the $10-million annual budget should be changed; whether a percentage of funds should be set aside for housing or other projects; and whether there should be a cap on how much credit a single charity can claim a year.
A cap may be controversial. Some charities have long complained that Habitat for Humanity dominates the program. Last year, a lone Habitat affiliate in Jacksonville claimed 23 percent of the $10-million. This year, 18 Habitat affiliates took home a combined 82 percent.
Von Hoff asked that the surveys be returned before Sept. 25. He'll tally the results and forward them to the legislative committees that oversee the program.