ANNAPOLIS (Sept. 11, 2017)—Farmers in Southern Maryland are now eligible to participate in a food donation tax credit pilot program following today's approval of emergency regulations by the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) Committee.
"This innovative program encourages farmers to donate fresh produce and more to non-profit organizations that support those in need," said Governor Larry Hogan. "This is a way for Maryland farmers to further help their communities and ensure their harvest does not go to waste."
Governor Larry Hogan signed into law the Farm Food Donation Pilot Program (SB 416) authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Comptroller, to issue a State tax credit of up to $5,000 per calendar year to qualified farmers or farm businesses that make eligible food donations and certified organic produce donations to charitable organizations. The program is limited to Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's and St. Mary's counties and only for tax years 2017, 2018 and 2019. The cumulative value of the donations shall not exceed $250,000 per fiscal year.
"Marylanders have a proud tradition of helping one another during tough times," said Comptroller Peter Franchot. "This program will help encourage even more giving and I am confident it will be very successful and eventually expand statewide."
Eligible food donations are eligible for a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the value of the donation, not to exceed $5,000 per calendar year. Certified produce donations are eligible for a tax credit of up to a value of 75 percent. The Secretary of Agriculture shall publish the values of the food donations and the certified organic produce weekly.
Farmers must submit a food donation form to a participating Tax Credit Administrator for the Maryland Food Donation Pilot Program.
Farmers and non-profit organizations interested in participating should contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Karen Kirksey at 410-841-5862 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.