A Georgia bill that would provide tax credits for donations to law enforcement groups passed the state Senate unanimously Thursday despite its potentially hefty price tag.
SB 361 would allow state residents to redirect up to $5,000 in income tax that would normally go to the state treasury to foundations that support local police or sheriff’s departments. The yearly credit would double for people who are married and file jointly.
It would be available for tax years 2023 through 2027, and corporations would also be eligible. The bill now goes to the state House for consideration.
“We’ve seen a big spike in violent crime, and I know that all the members of this body want to keep our communities safe and want to support our law enforcement and back the men and women in blue,” Republican State Sen. Larry Walker said. “And this is a way to partner with the private sector to do that.”
The total amount of available credits would be capped at $100 million per year. The bill would reduce state revenue by $67.5 million in 2024 — a figure that would near the $100 million cap by the program’s end date, according to an analysis by researchers at Georgia State University.
The donations could be used to hire more officers, pay them more or provide additional training or equipment.
The bill was backed by Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who thanked lawmakers after the vote.
“I’m proud that this senate chamber is sending a clear, unanimous message to 11 million Georgians that we do care about their public safety,” he said.