Taxpayers gave a record-breaking $1.1...

MORE THAN 90,000

November 12, 1992

MORE THAN 90,000 taxpayers gave a record-breaking $1.1 million to help protect the Chesapeake Bay and endangered species when they filled out their 1991 Maryland income tax returns. This four-year-old program has proved a smashing success.

Taxpayers' contributions to the fund have risen steadily each year since the program began in 1988. Montgomery County led the way with the largest number of taxpayers contributing (21,870), and the largest amount contributed ($329,784). Prince George's County and Baltimore County followed closely behind, with 13,001 giving $160,671, and 13,726 giving $141,553, respectively.

Howard County had the highest percent of participation, with 4.3 percent of taxpayers contributing.

Statewide, the average donation was $12.32. The highest -- $15.08 -- came from Montgomery County. Almost 2,000 taxpayers paid $50 or more, including four who gave $1,000 or more each. More than 60 taxpayers donated $200. There were also 433 contributors from out of state who donated $5,813.

Taxpayers can donate to the fund on line 63 of their Maryland income tax form. They can reduce the amount of their refund or add to any additional tax they owe. The contributions are deductible on federal and state income tax forms filed the following year -- if you itemize.

The money is divided between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Department of Natural Resources. The trust gives grants to community groups and schools for bay restoration projects such as beach cleanups, tree planting, marsh restoration and water quality testing. DNR's funds support protection of endangered species and urban wildlife.

Here's one voluntary state program that has demonstrated that it has strong public support.

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