Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Excludes from State gross income tax certain payments made to the families of victims of school violence.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act excluding from State gross income tax certain payments made to families of victims of school violence, supplementing chapter 6 of Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Gross income shall not include any amounts that are: received from an organization that is exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s.501), paid from funds received as charitable contributions collected in response to a lethal act of violence occurring on the grounds of a preschool, grade school, high school or institution of higher education, and received by the next of kin of a deceased victim of that act of lethal violence. Amounts received that satisfy the criteria set forth in this section shall apply regardless of the location of the school in relation to this State and the school’s status as a public or private entity.
2. This act shall take effect immediately and apply retroactively to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2007.
This bill excludes from the State’s personal income tax certain payments made to the families of victims of school violence. This bill will enable the families of victims of a school shooting or other act of lethal violence to receive financial support from a charitable fund established in response to such a tragedy without fear of State gross income tax implications.
Virginia Tech’s Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund is an example of the type of benevolent cause this bill is meant to address. In response to the shooting that occurred on April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech’s campus, the university established the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. This charitable fund accepted public donations for distribution to the victims’ families. The State of Virginia and the federal government have both enacted legislation to exempt from taxation payments received from the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. Without this legislation, grieving New Jersey families receiving support through the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund or similar charitable causes may have to pay State gross income tax on the receipt of donations made to help such families recover from tragedy. To qualify for an exemption under this bill, the payments must be made to the next of kin of a victim of school violence, by a qualified charitable organization on account of a lethal act of school violence.