Rural Hospitals Hoping for Increased Donations after Rise in Tax Credits

Rural hospital officials across Georgia are hoping a new rise in tax credits will raise donations.
For a limited time, Georgia taxpayers can receive a 90 percent state tax credit when they contribute to designated rural hospitals – including St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia – through the new Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program.
St. Mary’s Healthcare spokesman Mark Ralston said Sacred Heart Hospital qualifies for the program.
The program, created by Georgia Senate Bill 180, allows taxpayers to receive a 90 percent credit on their state taxes for contributions of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for married couples.
“C” corporations can receive a credit of up to 75 percent of their total Georgia income tax liability.
In addition, these contributions can be claimed as charitable deductions on federal income tax returns.
Because this is a tax credit, the contribution is applied directly against the amount the taxpayer owes on their state taxes.
Ralston said even though Sacred Heart is in good financial shape, the potential extra money would help in purchasing some new equipment.
Ralston noted giving is easy through the Georgia HEART website at
There, taxpayers who want to help can now complete the tax credit application form and request an estimate of the net after-tax benefit cost of contributing to a participating Georgia HEART hospital.