PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
March 02, 2012

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Voluntary Contributions to State’s Income Tax Check Off Program Help Support Public Health

Before filing your 2011 state tax returns, the Department of Health andSenior Services (DHSS) is reminding interested residents they can select a tax check-off to support cancer research or the spay and neutering of dogs and cats.

A tax check-off allows taxpayers to make deductible contributions on their 2011 NJ-1040 state income tax form. Taxpayers can check off a $10 or $20 donation or write-in a contribution of up to $99.99.

Residents have two new health-related choices on this year's tax forms-the Cat and Dog Spay/Neuter Fund and the New Jersey Lung Cancer Research Fund. 

The Cat and Dog Spay/Neuter Fund supports sterilization in the DHSS Animal Population Control program.  The program contracts with participating veterinarians in the State to provide surgeries at a discounted cost of $20 for pets adopted from participating pounds, shelters and rescue groups and $10 for those owned by people on public assistance programs.

"Each year more than 37,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in New Jersey shelters and pounds because not enough homes are available to adopt them," said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "The funds raised through the tax check-off will support the spay or neutering of dogs and cats adopted from New Jersey shelters, pounds and rescue groups, as well as those owned by persons on public assistance programs."

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, the program has aided in the spaying and neutering of more than 192,000 cats and dogs.

"Any funds raised will help limit the growth in New Jersey's dog and cat population," said Steve Dash, Chairperson of the Governor's Domestic Companion Animal Council. "I encourage New Jersey taxpayers to take advantage of this deduction."

Also new to the tax form this year is the New Jersey Lung Cancer Research Fund.  Donations collected for this fund will be used to support research grants related to the prevention, screening, treatment and eventual cure of lung cancer.

"Lung Cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths among amen and women in New Jersey," said Commissioner O'Dowd. "With funds generated by the check-off, researchers can work to reduce the more than 6,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed and the 4,400 deaths annually due to this disease."

Residents also have the opportunity to donate funds to the Breast Cancer Research Fund and the New Jersey Prostate Cancer Research Fund.  The New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research administers the cancer research funds and all donations provided.

For more information on how your tax deduction can help control New Jersey's animal population please visit - www.state.nj.us/health/cd/izdp/vph.shtml.

To learn more about the New Jersey Commission of Cancer Research and the funds it administers visit - http://www.state.nj.us/health/ccr/index.shtml.