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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 21, 2002
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

Tax returns provide means for protecting state's resources

(RICHMOND) - Protecting the commonwealth's open spaces and restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay are two of the state's leading environmental concerns. Virginians can now help do both when they file their state tax returns.

Schedule ADJ allows taxpayers to contribute any or all their tax refund to either the Open Space Conservation Fund or the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund. And, there's an added benefit: these contributions are tax-deductible on next year's income tax returns.

"A recent survey of Virginians revealed that 92 percent felt it was important to protect open space resources," said W. Tayloe Murphy Jr., Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources. "The Chesapeake Bay is also seen as both a state and national treasure. Contributions to either fund helps preserve these resources critical to the commonwealth and to future generations."

Designate your voluntary contribution on line 24 of Schedule ADJ, to accompany the individual income tax return Form 760. If you choose the "Open Space Conservation and Recreation Fund," write in the code numbers 6-8. If you choose the "Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund," write in the code numbers 7-1.

These voluntary contribution funds are an easy means of supporting natural resources in Virginia. Money designated for the Open Space fund has helped purchase state natural area preserves that protect rare species. This fund is also used to acquire land for recreational purposes and as matching grants to localities for meeting their community outdoor recreational needs.

Contributing to the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund has been an option for several years, and the level of funding is on the rise. The money is spent on pollution-reducing projects throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which makes up over half of the state's land mass.

Of course, Virginia taxpayers who don't receive refunds can also contribute to these funds directly.

Contact the Virginia Department of Taxation at (804) 367-8031 or online at www.tax.state.va.us. For questions about either contribution fund, call the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation at (804) 786-7961.

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