ELKINS - Randolph County businessman Jim Jackson on Monday joined the ranks of West Virginians who support the Davis & Elkins College Highlands Scholarship program with a gift that reduces income tax liability.
Jackson, owner of Elkins Fordland, presented the college with a $20,000 check to help area students further their education.
"I believe it is important, as a successful business, to support the institutions that make the Elkins area special and provide a strong future," Jackson said.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Davis & Elkins College President Dr. Michael Mihalyo receives a $20,000 check from Jim Jackson, owner of Elkins Fordland, in support of the college’s Highlands Scholarship program. Jackson’s charitable gift qualifies him to receive tax credits through the Neighborhood Investment Program.
Jackson and other West Virginia residents who support the Highlands Scholarship program with a gift of $1,000 are not only investing in the community, they also are participating in the state's Neighborhood Investment Tax Credit Program through D&E and qualifying for a 50 percent credit for their gift on their West Virginia taxes.
"Supporting the Highlands Scholars at D&E makes sense in many ways," Jackson said. "First, D&E is not only important to the local economy, but it is also a tremendous partner in the community.
"Many community events, like last month's YMCA fundraising concert with Phillip Phillips, would not be possible without the help and the venue provided by D&E. Allowing our youth basketball teams to practice in Martin Fieldhouse has enabled our basketball program to grow and get more children involved in healthy activities.
"Secondly, the Highlands Scholarship program is enabling local high school graduates to attend college when they otherwise may not be able to," Jackson said. "To assist local students to get a college education and help increase the enrollment of a local asset, like D&E, is a huge investment in the future of our community."
Designed to help aspiring D&E students, as well as fellow West Virginians, the D&E credit is a result of the Governor's Neighborhood Investment Tax Credit Program (NIP).
Unlike the standard tax deduction, the NIP credit provides a direct reduction in a donor's state tax liability. It may also be carried over for up to five tax years, and may be applied toward quarterly state taxes.
Donors may use the credits to reduce liability for personal income tax, corporate net income tax, or business franchise tax.
This year, D&E is awarding $3,570,480 in scholarships to 275 Highlands Scholars from Barbour, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties.
Carol Schuler, associate vice president for communications and development, said, "Generous gifts from individuals have helped make the scholarships possible since the program began in 2008. Now, those who support the program will not only reap the joy of giving and supporting education, but also reap a tangible benefit in reducing their state tax liability."
"D&E College was fortunate to be awarded a significant number of credits by the state," Schuler said. "The NIPs program provides an opportunity to thank donors to the Highlands Scholarship program, which supports students from throughout our region. We truly appreciate the investment in higher education and our communities that Davis & Elkins College donors are making. Together, we are all making a difference for West Virginia students."
The Neighborhood Investment Program (NIP) was established by the West Virginia Legislature in 1996 to increase charitable giving to local nonprofit organizations.
The program allows 501(c) 3 designated charitable organizations including D&E to apply for tax credit vouchers and then distribute the vouchers to individuals and businesses that financially support the organization.
"The West Virginia Neighborhood Investment Program has made investing in the important institutions in our community much easier," Jackson said. "It offers a great tax break on the money invested and is a tremendous asset to the organizations that have the credits to offer. I encourage all individuals and businesses to look into this program. It makes investing in your community much easier than you may think.
"I would like to thank all of our customers who have supported our business over the years," Jackson said. "Without your continued support we would not be able to do the things we do to help make this community a better place."
D&E NIP credits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information is available by calling Schuler at 304-637-1338 or 304-642-5576, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.