GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A bill about to be introduced in Lansing proposes a tax credit for people who donate blood.
The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids and Rep. Phil Green, R-Millington.
“We’ve proposed that individuals would receive a $25 state tax credit for donating each time they give blood with a max of $100 annually,” Hood said.
Donation centers like Versiti’s location in Grand Rapids have seen a decrease in donations, according to Gitesh Dubal, Versiti’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
“Over the last few years, post-pandemic, the number of blood donors has decreased by as much as 20%,” Dubal said.
Dubal said they are working with a smaller donor base and the number of big donation drives have not recovered.
“Some of the areas where we would have access to blood drives, like high schools, places of work, places of worship, these blood drives took a toll and that’s really where we would welcome new donors,” Dubal said.
Another bill lawmakers are working on would provide incentives for employers to give employees the time to donate.
“In order to encourage our employers to get back on track with … the blood drives they might have done previously before the pandemic,” Hood said.
Organizations like Versiti say the tax credit could make more people aware of the need for blood.
“I think that it’s a great way to bring new donors in. We’re actually excited by it that this would be a great way in which we’re hoping that will bring in younger blood donors into our mission,” Hood said.
Hood said the change, if approved, could happen as soon as the 2023 tax year but the proposed date has not been finalized.
Additional factors that could impact blood supply are proposed guidelines that could ease an abstinence rule for gay and bisexual men who want to donate.
The proposed change would include new screening questions for all donors.