At Tax Season, Charity Checkoffs Questioned

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Image: Tax Charity Checkoffs

Colorado residents used their tax forms to donate more than $1.6 million to charity last year. Now, a report in The Denver Post raises questions about whether that process is too political and lacks oversight.

The state was the first to offer a charitable checkoff system in 1977. State taxpayers have the chance to donate part of their refunds to charity and then fill out a separate form to specify where -- among a list of designated charities -- they want the money to go. Twenty charities appear on the 2017 form.

But as The Denver Post reported recently, some state lawmakers are concerned that so few charities are on the list, and that it usually takes a lobbyist or someone with political clout to push a bill that grants a new charity a place on the list.

Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel spoke with Brian Eason, statehouse reporter for The Denver Post, who co-reported the story about the charitable checkoff program with reporter John Frank.

Chart: Tax Charity Checkoff
Coloradans donated more than $1.6 million in tax refunds to charity last year.