Monday, March 13, 2017

A NJ Income Tax Check-off to Help Endangered Species

New Jersey residents can continue to help the recovery of endangered species through a state income-tax check-off. Not the most opportune time to ask someone for a "donation," but taxpayers can give a portion of their state refunds to fund wildlife protection.

Simply look for Line 59 on your NJ 1040 income tax return, and check-off for wildlife. Or remind your tax preparer that you want to make a contribution.

Every dollar you donate goes directly to the DEP's Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP), enabling biologists to continue their work to restore, conserve and enhance New Jersey's populations of rare species. What's more, your contribution is matched with an equal amount of federal funding, further strengthening efforts to protect hundreds of imperiled species.

The funds collected in past years have helped specie such as the bald eagle and osprey populations reach record highs in the state.

It is an understandable misconception that these programs are funded by tax dollars or the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses. They are not.

The Endangered and Nongame Species Program also works closely with local conservation groups. They award Conserve Wildlife Matching Grants —funded by sales of Conserve Wildlife license plates — to fund efforts of nonprofit conservation organizations,

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