Nassau among most generous counties in state, nation

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Nassau county residents placed third in the state in charitable giving, according to an index from 2016 IRS data. (Photo courtesy Google Images)

Nassau County residents are some of the most generous people in New York and the United States when it comes to charitable giving, a recent study finds.

A SmartAsset review of IRS data from 2016 for over 3,000 counties across the country found that residents in Nassau landed third of 62 in the company’s Most Charitable Counties Index for the state, behind only New York and Rockland counties.

Nassau also placed 24th most charitable of more than 3,000 counties nationwide.

“We release these studies to get people thinking and talking about big personal finance topics like planning for retirement or buying a home,” AJ Smith,  SmartAsset vice president of financial education, said. “In this case, charitable giving can be a crucial part of a budget each year and we wanted to show how communities compared across the country with regard to donating money to charitable causes.”

SmartAsset is a financial advising company based in New York.

To create the index, the company determined how much people donate as a percentage of their net income and the proportion of people in a county who made charitable donations.

To calculate the amount that people donate as a percentage of their income, SmartAsset calculated people’s net income by looking at tax return data and subtracting total taxes paid, mortgage interest, mortgage points and mortgage insurance payments from total income to get each county’s net income. Then, each county’s total charitable donations were divided by total net income to see how much county residents are donating relative to their income.

Nassau residents’ contributions as a percentage of their net income come in as ordinary at 30.3 percent. What propelled the county to the top of both the state and national index is the contributions as a percentage of the population, a staggering 93.4 percent.

“This metric shows that more Nassau County residents donate to charity, as a percentage of the population, than any other county in New York,” Smith said. The index did not speculate as to why so many county residents donate to charity. 

In several national surveys and censuses, Nassau is one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., consistently placing between 10th and 15th.

Though Tony Lubrano, president of the charitable group Warriors for a Cause, acknowledges the wealth of the area, he also said that a certain feeling of giving back and volunteerism contribute to the county’s placement.

“There’s a huge number of organizations in this area,” Lubrano, of Mineola, said. “Almost every night of the week there’s something charitable going on in Nassau.”

At a dinner event Lubrano hosted in collaboration with the Stephen Siller Foundation to brainstorm and assist in the construction of a smart home for injured serviceman Chris Levi, Lubrano said members of all trades stood up and volunteered their services to help.

“This doesn’t really happen in other parts of the country,” Lubrano said. “I think it’s something unique to Long Island.”

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