WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital benefits from rural tax credit program

Under the Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program, WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital has raised $1.4 million since July 2017. (File Photo)

WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital has announced it raised nearly $1.4 million since July 2017 under the Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program.

The Georgia General Assembly recently passed legislation enabling state taxpayers to receive a 100 percent state income tax credit for the amount they contribute to any of the 58 qualified rural hospital organizations in Georgia. WellStar Sylvan Grove is one of those.

Maximum credit limits of $5,000 to $10,000 on noncorporate contributions to rural hospitals exist until June 30 each year through 2021.

“Taxpayers who itemize deductions on their federal income tax returns may also qualify for an additional charitable deduction,” said Kathleen Smith, a regional development officer for the WellStar Foundation, WellStar Health System’s fundraising arm. “Donors would need to consult with their tax advisors.”

The Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program was first introduced by Atlanta lawmaker Geoff Duncan in 2016. At that time, the program provided a 70 percent credit, but was raised to 90 percent shortly thereafter. This spring, the Legislature approved a 100 percent credit, which led to the state’s 2018 maximum allowable credit cap of $60 million to be met within weeks. Pre-registration for next year’s program will open on the Georgia HEART website Oct. 1.

WellStar Sylvan Grove has been open in Jackson, providing emergency and specialized care, for more than 50 years. The hospital also operates a renowned post-acute skilled rehabilitation center for patients requiring extended care in recovery. The hospital was recently recognized with a “Top Rural Hospital Award” nationally by the Leap Frog Group.

“This [tax credit] program allows Georgia taxpayers and businesses to redirect their state tax liability to directly support the health of their community, or other areas of the state,” said Tamara Ison, WellStar Senior vice president and president of WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital. “WellStar Sylvan Grove is thankful for every donation and is putting these funds back into the health services and comfort of our patients as well as facility enhancements.”

Those interested in making a donation for 2019 can do so by registering on Oct. 1 on the Georgia HEART website, www.georgiaheart.org. Hospital officials said it is a first-come, first-served opportunity that fills quickly. For questions about the program or the Oct. 1 registration, contact Kathleen.smith2@wellstar.org. For more information about WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital, visit https://www.wellstar.org/locations/pages/wellstar-sylvan-grove-hospital.aspx

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