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Lawmakers says income tax check-offs are out of control

A state lawmaker says the number of income tax check-offs, where you can donate part of your refund to charity, is getting out of control.

There are seven check-offs now, and you'll see two more in January.

Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, plans to introduce a bill to either reduce the check-offs, or get rid of them altogether.

They started 20 years ago, when tax filers could check a box to help protect endangered resources.

A second check-off was added in 2001 for the expansion of the Packers' stadium.

Then came check-offs for breast cancer research, veterans, multiple sclerosis, the state fire-fighters' memorial and prostate cancer.

Two more were added in the new state budget for military families and food banks.

And lawmakers are considering a 10th check-off for Special Olympics.

Miller calls it an inappropriate use of income tax forms and he says the expansion of check-offs has hurt the various causes.

He said the endangered resources' check-off took in $675,000 a year at its peak. It's now down to about $400,000.

Miller says it's getting to where check-offs are competing with each other.

He says the new one for military families could take donations away from the one for the veterans' trust fund.