The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 15, 2009

Tax credits reward supporters of local arts organization

By Fred Pace

West Virginia’s only touring professional dance company is now a participant in West Virginia’s Neighborhood Investment Program, according to company officials.

The program provides tax credits as an incentive to stimulate and increase donations from the business community to qualifying 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, according to West Virginia Dance Company’s founder and co-artistic director, Toneta Akers-Toler.

She says tax credits reduce the amount of taxes a donor pays, offsetting the actual taxes owed.

“Deductions merely reduce the donor’s taxable income,” she explained. “Generally, a tax credit is worth substantially more than a tax deduction.”

Qualified charitable organizations, such as West Virginia Dance Company, distribute tax credit vouchers to contributing businesses and individuals.

Akers-Toler says by donating to approved NIP organizations, contributors can earn credits to reduce certain West Virginia taxes and support their communities.

“A private or corporate donor can receive a tax credits from WVDC in the amount of 50 percent of their qualified contribution, up to a maximum of $100,000 in any one-year period,” she said.

West Virginia Dance Company’s allotment of tax credits is limited. Akers-Toler says tax credit vouchers will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis until the allotment is depleted.

“Donors may use the credits to reduce liability for the corporate net income tax, the business franchise tax or the personal income tax,” she explained. “The donor must contribute a minimum of $500 to receive these credits.”

Donations to WVDC support the 2009-10 Educational Arts Program, Around the World and Back Again, she said.

WVDC reaches upwards of 50,000 students across the state, said Akers-Toler, a Beckley native.

“For 32 years, West Virginia Dance Company has created innovative, original dance works for audiences of all ages,” she said.

For more information about the Neighborhood Investment Program, contact the West Virginia Development Office, telephone: 304-558-2001, or visit www.wvdo.org/community/nip.html.

— E-mail: fpace@register-herald.com