New Jersey state Sen. Gerald Cardinale is sponsoring legislation that would allow taxpayers who donate blood at least four times a year to get a $100 state income tax credit.
“We need people to give blood. We should encourage it. People can give blood several times a year if they’re healthy,” said Cardinale, R-Bergen. “So, we thought good idea. Let’s create an incentive for people to do that.”
New Jersey could also become the first state to offer a tax incentive to organ donors.
Cardinale said his proposed $1,000 tax credit would encourage more people to donate bone marrow, part of a liver, or all or part of a lung or kidney.
“I had a friend. He had to go on dialysis. He was waiting for a kidney. You could see him going downhill and he died while he was waiting for a kidney,” he said. “If more people would donate more kidneys, more people would have their lives extended.”
According to the proposed legislation, about 5,000 New Jersey residents are waiting for an organ or tissue transplant while only 34 percent of adults in the state are registered as organ donors, the sixth-lowest participation rate in the nation.