Posted: Aug 29, 2012 6:26 AM by Megan Murphy
Updated: Sep 4, 2012 5:55 AM
CALLAWAY COUNTY - For almost 60 years, Missouri Girls Town has taken in abused or troubled girls and helped them turn their lives around. The majority of its budget comes from the state; the rest comes from private donors. Thanks to a newly-approved tax credit, donating to Girls Town could benefit the giver, as well.
Missouri Girls Town Executive Director Kathy Becker said the money will be used to renovate McClain-Williams House, the last house the girls live in before they transition to society. Currently, there are no girls in the house because it's a safety hazard.
Becker said, "We're going to totally renovate the house. We already put the new roof on because that was first. All of the floors totally need to be redone. All the furniture is going to be removed, take out and put in new furniture."
Other plans include making the front entrance ADA compliant, fixing the back deck and putting cameras in the common areas. Becker said the cameras will ensure the safety of the girls and the staff in case of any incidents.
The renovations will happen thanks to the Missouri's Department of Economic Development. It approved a 70 percent tax credit for donors to help finance the renovation project. By December 31, Girls Town has to raise and use $146 thousand; that's the amount of money to which the state will give the credits.
"I'd like to say we don't have a choice but to get this house repaired so I'm really hoping the community will come together and raise the money," said Becker.
Donors get tax credits in addition to the tax deductions from the donations. Here's how it works: if a business gives a thousand dollars to girls town; it gets 700 in tax credits off the bottom of line of what's owed to the state or in a rebate if it doesn't owe anything.
Becker explained there's no alternative but to make the house safe again. It's something the girls deserve.
"Girls Town has always been about letting the girls live in a place that looks like a home. But, in order to look like a home, it has to feel like a home. We want it to get back to feeling like a home again," Becker said.
All businesses, but not all individuals meet the requirements to receive the tax credits if you donate to Girls Town.
Best advice -- check with an accountant first.