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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 1 year ago

Collier, Sarasota residents among most generous in state

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Collier ranked first, Sarasota sixth in charitable giving in SmartAsset study.

The people who live in some of the region's wealthiest counties, at least relatively on statewide level, like to give back a large chunk of money. 

Those counties, Collier and Sarasota, placed in the top 10 most generous counties in the state, with Collier coming in at No. 1 and Sarasota at No. 6, according to a new study from financial technology company SmartAsset. The firm's analysis is based proportionately on the percentage of each county’s net income their residents donated based on donation deductions listed on IRS tax returns.

To earn their donation distinctions, 57.4% of Collier County residents donated 42.9% of their combined overall net income for a “most charitable counties index” score of 58.7%; and in Sarasota, 50.6% of its residents donated 33.7% of their overall net income for an index score of 49.3%. 

Scoring was based on total taxes paid and all mortgage expenses subtracted from gross income to determine each county's net income. SmartAsset then divided each county's charitable donations by its net income to calculate how much county residents donated relative to their income. Separately, the number of tax returns that included charitable donations was divided by total number of returns from each county to determine the index score.

The top 10 charitable counties, with one exception, have one other thing in common: they are on a coast with lots of waterfront homes, where, obviously, lots of wealthy people live. The one inland county on the list is Sumter, home of The Villages, a prominent retiree-centric town. 

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