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Group hopes to retain IL tax checkoff

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill. – People working to fighting multiple sclerosis are trying to get the word out about their tax check-off on Illinois state tax forms.

Taxpayers can donate money to fight MS and other causes by checking one of a number of boxes on Illinois income tax forms.

If the cause gets less than $100,000 in donations, it will be dropped from the next tax form - a very real possibility for the MS group.

Taxpayers donated only $127,000 last year. This time, MS is competing with a record-high number of causes seeking taxpayer support.

The causes range from epilepsy to pet population control to brain tumors. Eight new causes are included this time around.

The checkoffs started on 1983 tax forms as a way for people to easily contribute to charities. Only about 1% of the state's tax returns give money to the charities. But those who donate are generous.

On average, people donate $10.66 per checkoff and mark at least two.

A list of the tax checkoffs and how much they received last year:

Military Family Relief Fund
2004: $300,825.02

Penny Severns Breast, Cervical and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
2004: $270,333.83

Wildlife Preservation Fund
2004: $246,589.98

Child Abuse Prevention Fund
2004: $233,886.07

Alzheimer's Disease Research Fund
2004: $196,594.16

Assistance to the Homeless Fund
2004: $189,420.46

Illinois Veterans' Home
2004: $139,175.74

Multiple Sclerosis Assistance Fund
2004: $126,527.51

Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) Research Fund
2004: $107,624.55

Other

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