Kodiak Daily Mirror - Rep Don young suggests tax break for game donations
  
Rep. Don young suggests tax break for game donations
by James Brooks / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Oct 14, 2011 | 13 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KODIAK — A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by Rep. Don Young, would make game meat donations to food banks even more attractive to hunters.

The bill, HR 3142, would give hunters a tax deduction equivalent to the processing cost of their game. The bill also includes a tax credit for processors who take part in the program.

All animals would still have to be killed according to state and local laws.

“Our state has far too many resources for any Alaskan to be hungry,” Young said in a statement. “When the Food Bank of Alaska tells me that 93,000 Alaskans don’t know where their next meal is coming from, there is a real problem. My bill will begin to help solve that problem while also providing an economic incentive for hunters to donate their game. I anticipate broad bipartisan support for this bill and look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill.”

Young spokesman Luke Miller said sport-caught fish will not be eligible for the tax deduction.

“Salmon would not be eligible currently, but we may in the future introduce a bill that deals with salmon,” he wrote by email.

He said that’s because the bill is intended to promote donations of meat that would have been caught anyway — not to encourage people to hunt simply for the tax donation.

“My family, we don’t eat everything all the time,” Miller said by telephone from Washington. “You can donate things in the freezer before it goes bad, gets freezer burn.”

Kodiak Food Bank manager Alexander Von Tsurikov said any game donations to the island’s largest charitable food distributor must go through a commercial processor.

“I’m not allowed to accept meat and handle it and pack it myself,” he said.

That’s also the case with fish, where Kodiak processors have been contributing some commercially packaged food through the Sea Share program, which converts bycatch into food for the food bank.

In Kodiak, game meat intended for donation usually goes into Food Bank of Alaska’s Hunters Fighting Hunger program, which transports the meat to Anchorage for processing and distribution.

HR 3142 has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. It has not yet been scheduled for debate.

For more information on the Hunters Fighting Hunger program, visit http://www.foodbankofalaska.org/_uploads/page/44/hunters_flyer.pdf.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiakdailymirror.com.
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