KENNEWICK -- Visiting Angels at 15 N. Cascade Ave. in downtown Kennewick is helping make the holidays a bit more merry for the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership.
Anne Craff, owner of Visiting Angels, which provides in-home nursing assistance for people who are disabled, decided this year to contribute $5,000 to the Downtown Kennewick Revitalization Program through the Washington Main Street Tax Incentive Program.
Essentially, the donation goes directly toward revitalization work and Craff gets credit for 75 percent of that amount on her annual state business and occupation tax. She also gets to write off the entire donation on her business' federal income taxes.
"It is a benefit for Visiting Angels and it allows them to keep their tax dollars working here at home," said Tim Dalton, executive director of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership.
Without making the donation, all business and occupation taxes paid go to the state's general fund, Dalton said.
This is the second year Craff has made a donation for downtown revitalization to offset her B&O taxes.
"They saw the benefit and realized it helps the community," Dalton said.
Craff said she chose to open her downtown business four years ago, and has seen recent changes make it more inviting, with better parking, new storefronts and a variety of businesses moving in.
"The Main Street Tax Incentive Program gives us the ability to put some of our state taxes to work here in our own communities. I am a very strong supporter of the downtown," she said.
Visiting Angels is one of several businesses in Kennewick that have participated this year in the state's tax incentive program.
Farmers Exchange, Overturf Volkswagen Audi Kia, TI Sports and the Tri-City Herald also contributed, helping add $15,000 so far this year toward the revitalization fund, Dalton said.
"This enables us to do public art such as the paper boy and balancing the wine, for example. It also could go for banners and maintenance of the downtown," Dalton said.
Some of the money donated last year was used to hire someone to do downtown maintenance.
The Main Street Tax Incentive Program is open to all business owners regardless of where they are located, Dalton said.
"We are trying to get some of the businesses that are not in the downtown area. You can be anywhere and contribute," he said.
Dec. 31 is the cutoff for making donations that will offset B&O taxes for 2009. Donations can be made by calling the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership at 582-7221.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org