Georgia DNR Asks Citizens to Check Box on Tax Returns

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As 2007 kicks off and Georgians receive their annual income tax information, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) reminds residents that they can support wildlife at tax time each year. The State Income Tax Checkoff provides an easy way for Georgians to donate to the Wildlife Conservation Fund. Proceeds from this initiative are used to fund critical wildlife conservation projects statewide.

"The income tax checkoff is an easy way to donate to wildlife conservation," said Mike Harris, WRD Nongame Conservation Section Chief. "Donations made to the Nongame Conservation Section – including the nongame wildlife license plate program and the income tax checkoff – raise more than 80 percent of our annual project budget. This is especially important because the Section receives no state appropriations for its numerous conservation projects each year."

By filling in any amount over $1 on line 27 of the long form (Form 500) or line 10 of the short form (Form 500EZ), citizens can make a direct donation to support nongame species management and conservation in Georgia. For those receiving a refund, the donation can be deducted from the amount of the refund. For those who owe taxes, the donation can be added to the payment. Georgians donated more than $339,000 through the checkoff in 2005.

The income tax checkoff and the wildlife license plates depicting a bald eagle or hummingbird are important funding sources for conservation projects benefiting peregrine falcons, manatees, frogs, salamanders, sea turtles, songbirds, native plants and wildlife and plants. Funds raised from the checkoff and wildlife tags also help purchase critical habitat and fund conservation, recreation and education projects throughout the state.

For more information on projects funded with checkoff and wildlife tag dollars, visit www.georgiawildlife.com or contact the Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame Conservation Section, 116 Rum Creek Drive, Forsyth, Georgia, 31029, (478) 994-1438. Through support of both the checkoff and nongame wildlife tags, Georgians can help give wildlife a chance.