Rotary Club hears about Georgia HEART program

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The Bainbridge Rotary Club met at the Kirbo Center on Tuesday for their regularly scheduled meeting. The speaker of the day was Jamie Sinko, director of development with Memorial Hospital and Manor, who spoke about the Georgia HEART tax credit program.

“So the Georgia HEART tax credit, basically the state of Georgia has set aside, for 2023, a pot of $75,000,000 in tax credits that can be used,” she explained. This is, she explained, an increase over the previous four years, which capped at $60,000,000. There are currently 55 eligible rural hospitals competing for this money. “As of this morning, $23.5 million of this has already been claimed in tax credits,” Sinko continued. “So here we’re at the very, very beginning of 2023, and over 30% of the money has already been claimed.”

The program works on a 1:1 basis; “So if you pledge $1,000, you get $1,000 off your state taxes,” she explained. “The big part to this is the contribution limits… between January 1 and June 30, as an individual taxpayer, you can contribute up to $5,000, and again, it’s a 1:1 tax credit. Couples filing jointly can do up to $10,000… pass-through owners of businesses can do the $10,000 between now and June 30… and then corporations, trusts, or pass-through entities that do the HB-149 can do up to 75% of their state tax liability.”

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According to Sinko, the most any hospital can receive is $4,000,000, with Memorial receiving just under $1.2 million last year. “I would love for our hospital here locally to hit that number, we’ll see if it happens. $2,000,000 can come from individual taxpayers, and $2,000,000 can come from corporate taxpayers, the businesses, things along those lines.” As of the time of Tuesday’s presentation, Sinko said the hospital already had $564,000 pledged, with the funds received going towards upgrading facilities, the Manor, equipment and furniture.

Sinko discussed some changes that have been made this year, which includes business owners pledging being able to take a state tax credit and a federal deduction, if they pay taxes at the federal entity level.

The presentation concluded with Sinko, Hospital CEO Jim Lambert and Hospital Authority Chairperson Glennie Bench taking questions. For more information on the Georgia HEART program, Sinko can be reached at JamieS@mh-m.org, or at (229) 220-4591. To make a donation or for more information, visit www.georgiaheart.org