My friend and fellow Soil and Water Conservation District Administrator Jeff Van Loon from Medina County wrote a great story recently about donating to the SWCD since it's tax-deductible.
My SWCD board of supervisors contacted the IRS to confirm that donations made to the Trumbull SWCD are tax-deductible, and indeed they are.
As Jeff mentioned in his article, SWCDs have not marketed themselves as a place to donate money when trying to think of a smart place to garner an IRS deduction for yourself. Most local SWCDs have experienced reductions in funding, and with the many farmers and land owners who have benefitted from the conservation office, now might be a good time to consider a donation to your local SWCD.
This is especially true for those who are receiving funds through the new oil and gas leases end for future royalties, many financial experts recommend a donation in the same year you receive your income from those activities. This was confirmed by Accountant Pat O'Connor of O'Connor, Hoso & Loree LLC as well as by attorneys John Rossi and Jack Alpern during the recent shale seminars the SWCD hosted here at the Agriculture and Family Education Center along with First Place Bank.
If you or your accountant are looking for a tax deduction, the Trumbull SWCD qualifies under IRS Code 170(c)(i) as long as the donation is made for a public purpose, which fits all the normal activities of a conservation district. No we are not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, but we do fit a charitable definition as a political subdivision of the State of Ohio.
You can be assured that the public purpose supports us locally in Trumbull County since we are not controlled by Washington or Columbus but by an elected local board of supervisors who represent local land owners. As a matter of fact, it was Trumbull County residents who by an overwhelming majority started this agency in the late 1940s by referendum.
We just went through heavy rains and flooding in 2011 and then we suffered this year through a drought as your local SWCD reacted and assisted many residents with their environmental issues. Our mission and goals as long as we are here to serve are education, soil management, water management and agriculture.
Thanks to the county commissioners as well as some of our townships' and municipalities' conservation appropriations, we survive as an agency to support you, and with any additional donations we, the Trumbull SWCD, can continue to serve our communities and land owners.
Mike Wilson is the Executive Director of the Trumbull Soil / Water Conservation District and is an associate member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau.