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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 9 months ago

Pair of counties in region among most generous in Florida

Residents of Sarasota and Collier counties like to give.

Generous people are spread out all over Florida, it turns out, from the Keys to the Panhandle.

That goes for Monroe County, home to Key West and Walton County, between Tallahassee and Pensacola. Those counties ranked No. 5 and No. 7, respectively, in a report on Florida’s’ most generous counties from SmartAsset, a financial technology firm. The list included two counties from the west coast of the state, Collier, No. 2, and Sarasota, No. 8. Palm Beach County is No. 1.

Using IRS data, the study looked at two metrics: how much people donate as a percentage of their net income and the proportion of people in a given county who made charitable donations.

To find the amount people donate as a percentage of income, the report looked at federal and local taxes paid. It also accounted for deductible entries, including mortgage interest, mortgage points and mortgage insurance payments, according to a statement. It then divided each county's total charitable donations by its total net income, to see how much county residents are donating relative to their income.

SmartAsset then took the total number of tax returns with charitable contributions and divided them by the number of total tax returns for each county, the release states. That showed the proportion of people in each county who make charitable donations. The report then equally weighted the two factors to produce the most charitable places index.

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