Since 1983, the Maine Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund has been supporting important programs that protect Maine’s threatened, endangered and nongame wildlife. Voluntary contributions made via the “chickadee check-off” and loon license plate registration fees have been essential to the continutation of Maine’s wildlife conservation efforts. But now, the Legislature is looking at a bill that will get rid of the “chickadee check-off” on our income tax returns.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 1:45 p.m. in State House Room 127, the Taxation Committee will hold a public hearing on LD 1826, An Act to Review and Repeal Income Tax Return Checkoffs. This bill proposes to eliminate all income tax check-offs, including that for the the Maine Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund. Please join us next Tuesday to oppose this terrible bill and to show your support for Maine’s important wildlife programs!
In addition to losing funding for the Maine Endangered and Nongame Wildlife Fund via the “chickadee check-off,” we would also lose matched federal funds if this bill were to pass. Without this funding, programs that protect Maine’s precious wildlife will be at risk. Just in 2011, the “chickadee check-off” funded a variety of programs including: the Heron Observation Network; the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Project; population surveys for the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Osprey, Northern Harrier and Short-eared Owl; and conservation efforts for Piping Plovers, Canada lynx and New England Cottontail, to name a few. As you can see, funds raised through this voluntary contribution mechanism are crucial for present and future wildlife conservation efforts. We need your help to protect these vital programs!
If you’re unable to attend next Tuesday, please contact the Taxation Committee Chairs, Senator Jonathan Courtney and Rep. Gary Knight, and urge them to oppose LD 1826. You can contact Senator Courtney by phone at (207) 287-1505 or by email at SenJon.Courtney@legislature.maine.gov. Rep. Knight can be reached by phone at (207) 287-1440 or by email at LGary.Knight@usa.net.
Without the “chickadee check-off,” significant funding for Maine’s most critical wildlife programs will be lost. We need your help to ensure that this voluntary contribution program continues. Please join us on Tuesday, February 28th in Augusta to oppose LD 1826.