Voluntary Tax Check-Off For Police Activities League OK’d

The California Police Activities League would be the beneficiary of new voluntary state income tax check-of under legislation approved August 12 by the California state Senate.

It’s one of six such measures pending in the Legislature this year allowing taxpayers to help pay for everything from the YMCA Model Legislature to National Guard Education Assistance to the “Morale, Welfare and Recreation” funds at California’s veterans’ homes.

There are currently 15 check-offs ranging from Alzheimer’s disease prevention to seniors to ovarian cancer to sea otters.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund received $505,000 in taxpayer contributions in 2008, $501,000 in 2009 and $388,435 through July.

Some of the check-offs must reach a minimum level of contributions or get bounced from the back of the tax form. The initial threshold is $250,000 minimum, adjusted upward annually for inflation

The sea otters fund, which expires at the end of the 2011 tax year, must collect more than $258,000 annually to keep its spot. So far in 2010 it has received $228,563.

The measure to contribute to the Police Activities League, AB 658 by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, a Hayward Democrat, would only appear on the tax form if one of the 15 current check-offs falls off.

Approved on a lop-sided 29 to 2 vote by the 40-member Senate it returns to the Assembly before going to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who has yet to take a position on the bill.

Last year, the GOP governor vetoed AB 1049 by Assemblyman Albert Torrico, a Fremont Democrat, which would have created a check-off to help publicize California’s “safe surrender” law that allows unwanted infants to be handed over to the state within 72 hours of their birth.

Torrico re-introduced a similar measure this year, AB 1983. It is pending in the Senate. Like Hayashi’s proposed check-off, Torrico’s wouldn’t go on state tax forms until an existing check-off falls off.

A Senate bill, SB 1076, to allow taxpayers to give the California Arts Council is awaiting action in the Assembly. It too would not be placed on tax forms until an existing check-off ends.

Some check-offs, like the sea otter fund, are placed on the tax form for a finite period of time and then repealed.

The California Colorectal Cancer Prevention Fund check-off became subject to the $250,000 minimum contribution in 2007 and fell well short, receiving only $126,000 from taxpayers.  The California Sexual Violence Victims Services Fund also met a similar fate in 2007, receiving just under $185,000 — $65,000 short of the minimum.

Since 1971, the Police Activities League has worked with kids as coaches, tutors, mentors, chaperones and program managers.


August 13 is the 44th day of the new fiscal year for which no budget has been enacted. The Legislature is required by the constitution to send the governor a spending plan by June 15, two weeks before the start of the fiscal year.


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