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Michigan lawmakers consider tax break for live organ donors
« on: April 27, 2023, 01:58:56 PM »

Michigan lawmakers consider tax break for live organ donors

Angela Mulka

State Rep. Felicia Brabec, D — Pittsfield, introduced House Bill 4361 on April 11 to offer a tax break for live organ donors.

For tax years that begin on and after January 1, 2023, HB 4361 would amend Michigan’s income tax act of 1967 to allow taxpayers to “claim a 1-time credit against the tax imposed by this part equal to the live organ donation expenses incurred during the tax year for which a live organ donation occurs or $5,000.00, whichever is less,” according to the bill.
If Michigan were to be graded on its living organ donor protection laws, it would get an “F” according to the American Kidney Fund.
Since 2021, the American Kidney Fund has graded each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on how well their laws encourage living organ donation and reduce barriers for living donors.

Most transplanted organs are from deceased donors, and the wait for an organ from a deceased donor can last years, according to the organization. Living donation offers an alternative for individuals on the transplant waiting list and increases the existing organ supply for everyone.
“Living organ donors also require two to 12 weeks of recovery following surgery before returning to work, so job protection for living organ donors during recovery time is essential,” the American Kidney Fund wrote in a February 2023 press release. “Direct reimbursements, tax credits and tax deductions can offset all or part of the financial losses for donors that are associated with travel and lodging for testing and the surgery, medications that may be required after surgery, and other incidental costs not covered by insurance.”
“There are 2,400 critically ill Michiganders waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, plus another 16,000 are enduring dialysis and might benefit from a transplant,” Dorrie Dils, president and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, an organization that runs the state’s organ and tissue donation program, said in a recent statement.
The state’s donor registry’s growth has slowed in recent years for a “variety of reasons,” according to the organization. Among them is a change that allows residents to renew their driver’s license or state ID every 12 years instead of eight. That means residents are less frequently interacting in person with branch office clerks who are required by law to ask the donor registry question.
About 95% of registrations happen during transactions at the Secretary of State. A majority of Michiganders are already registered — 56% — but rates are higher in other states.
A financial incentive for live organ donations could raise ethical issues. But the National Kidney Foundation said 21 states provide tax breaks to living organ donors as of June 2022.
HB 4361 awaits a hearing in the House Health Policy Committee.
On average, 17 Michigan residents have organ transplants every week, according to Gift of Life Michigan. Organ donors can save up to eight lives and tissue donors can substantially improve life for up to 75 sick, injured or blind people.
Unrelated directed kidney donor in 2003, recipient and I both well.
626 time blood and platelet donor since 1976 and still giving!
Elected to the OPTN/UNOS Boards of Directors & Executive, Kidney Transplantation, and Ad Hoc Public Solicitation of Organ Donors Committees, 2005-2011
Proud grandpa!


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