|January 22, 2004
HEALTH-RELATED STATE INCOME TAX FUND CONTRIBUTIONS
BENEFIT RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois taxpayers have the opportunity this year to
contribute to a variety of special funds through their 2003 individual state
income tax returns, including six administered by the Illinois Department of
Three of the Department funds are new this year - Asthma and Lung Research
Fund, Leukemia Treatment and Education Fund and the Lou Gehrig's Disease
Research Fund - while the other three have been included on the state income
tax returns for at least several years.
"Illinois taxpayers have been very generous in giving to these funds
and this year they have some additional choices," said Dr. Eric E.
Whitaker, state public health director. "I hope they remain committed to
these important causes for each dollar donated brings us closer to improved
treatment options and to finding a cure."
The new funds are:
- Asthma and Lung Research Fund (line 28k of the 2003 IL-1040 state income
tax return). Asthma is a major public health problem of increasing concern.
There are no preventive measures or cures for asthma, but it can be controlled
by taking medication and avoiding environmental triggers, such as mold, tobacco
smoke, dust mites and certain chemicals. An estimated 1 million adults in
Illinois have suffered or currently suffer from asthma. The disease results in
approximately 22,500 hospitalizations each year, with children younger than age
15 accounting for the highest number. Illinois has one of the nation's highest
mortality rates from asthma-related causes with approximately 280 deaths a
year. Contributions to this fund will support the Asthma Clinic Research
Program administered by the American Lung Association.
- Leukemia Treatment and Education Fund (line 28 l). Each year, more than
1,450 persons in Illinois are diagnosed with leukemia and approximately 950 die
from the disease. Contributions to this fund will help support education and
treatment of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
- Lou Gehrig's Disease Research Fund (line 28i). Amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a neurodegenerative
disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord and
eventually leads to death. More than 5,600 people in the United States are
diagnosed with ALS each year. In Illinois, nearly 200 people die each year of
the disease. Contributions will be used to make grants to the Les Turner ALS
Foundation, which is affiliated with Northwestern University's Feinberg School
The other Department funds are:
- · Alzheimer's Disease Research Fund (line 28c of the 2003 IL-1040
state income tax return). Donations are used to find a cause, cure and more
effective ways to diagnose and treat this debilitating disease, which afflicts
about 210,600 people in Illinois. Since the fund first appeared on the 1985
state tax form, taxpayers have contributed $2.7 million to support 118 research
- Penny Severns Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Fund (line 28e). Breast
and cervical cancers account for nearly one-third of all cancers diagnosed
annually among women in Illinois. Money contributed to this fund, named after
former state Sen. Penny Severns of Decatur who died in 1998 from breast cancer,
is used to advance the understanding and techniques effective in early
detection, prevention and treatment. Since the fund first appeared on the 1993
state tax form, $1.9 million has been donated to help fund 85 research
- Prostate Cancer Research Fund (line 28f). Donations are used for research
into the cause and treatment of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most
common type of cancer diagnosed in American men and claims the lives of an
estimated 28,900 men each year - 1,300 in Illinois. Since the fund first
appeared on the 1999 state tax form, about $500,000 has been donated.
A fund must generate a minimum of $100,000 each year in order to appear on
the next year's tax form. Any amount of $1 or more can be given to the funds by
writing in a donation amount on the appropriate line. The amount contributed
will either be deducted from any refund or added to the amount due.
Direct contributions also may be made to the Department's funds by sending a
check, payable to the Illinois Department of Public Health, to P.O. Box 4263,
Springfield, IL 62708. The designated fund should be clearly noted on the