FARMINGTON — Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity is an organization that gives back in more ways than just helping low-income individuals become homeowners.

Last year, the nonprofit was granted $50,000 in state tax credits.

The credits are offered to individuals or businesses that donate land, buildings, cash or professional labor.

The credit is equal to 50 percent of the value of the donation, and can go toward any state income taxes, gross receipts taxes or compensating taxes. Excluded are local option gross receipts taxes imposed by a municipality or county.

The credit applies to any individual or organization donating $300 or more to Habitat.

Tres Rios Habitat's Executive Director Jennifer Thiessen explained that donors can also write off the original donation as a charitable contribution on federal taxes.

"For example, if an individual or business donates $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity, they will receive a tax credit of $5,000," said Thiessen. "They can then use all of their tax credit for any state tax liability for the first year, or carry the credit forward for up to five years. Or they can transfer their tax credit to someone else that needs it, and they can still deduct the $10,000 from their federal taxes. When all is said and done, the $10,000 donation ends up costing only $2,500 with a tax savings of $7,500.


Advertisement

Most importantly, the donation goes towards Habitat's efforts to end the affordable housing crisis in New Mexico."

Tres Rios Habitat has also been planning to open up a ReStore in San Juan County. Habitat ReStores sell new and gently-used home improvement goods, furniture, accessories and building materials to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Proceeds are used by local Habitat affiliates to help build and renovate additional homes for qualified families. The closest ReStore is in Durango, and it's operating a successful business, said Thiessen.

"Having a ReStore here would help us become more self-sustaining, and would also help people in San Juan County, as they wouldn't have to drive to Durango to buy an affordable door, etc.," she said.

The organization is hoping to identify a building someone might let them use while they open their ReStore.

"If someone isn't using their building but would let us use it until we're making a profit, we'd pay utilities and take care of the building," said Thiessen. "After we are up-and-running and making money, we could then take over the lease payment."

Board President David Ripley said Habitat currently owns some rental apartments it was using to help supplement home build projects, but said the organization may consider offering the apartments as part of a deal to obtain a ReStore building.

"A lot of volunteer help is deferred into painting the apartments between renters instead of working on our houses, so we might consider putting the apartments on the table," in an effort to focus volunteer efforts on home builds, said Ripley.

Habitat's latest home build, located on Crouch Mesa, is close to being finished, but additional volunteer help is needed to ensure the house is move-in ready by spring. The four-bedroom house will be occupied by a family of six that had previously been crowded into a two-room, single-wide trailer.

The organization is also beginning to prepare for its April 27 fundraiser, "Hope for Homes," which is a 5K walk/run. Groups or individuals who would like to participate in the run are encouraged to sign up.

To find out how to help Tres Rios Habitat, call their office at 505-326-5379, or visit their website at www.habitatsanjuan.org.