Bristol taxpayers gave 4 percent of their income to charity, more than any neighboring community in the Levittown area, according to data compiled by “The Chronicle of Philanthopy.”
Based on tax records from the IRS for 2008 – the most recent year for which such data are available – Bristol residents in the 19007 zip code gave a median contribution of $1,609 to charity on an income of $40,610.
By comparison, the median contribution in Pennsylvania was 3.9 percent and 4.7 percent for the entire United States, much less than the state sales tax.
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“All charities are feeling the economic pinch ... because portfolios just aren’t appreciating like they used to," said Jane Ward, Director of Donor Relations for the Red Cross of Bucks County, based in Levittown. "In some ways the job rate or lack of employment has affected some of the grassroots donations."
The next most generous neighborhood in Levittown Patch was Fairless Hills’ 19030 zip code. Those residents gave 3.2 percent of their income.
The data comes from a special report, “How America Gives,” that examines by zip code and by income. The study is based on the exact dollar amount of charitable deductions made by American taxpayers on their tax returns.
Out of 28,725 zip codes measured, Bristol ranks 8,444. Those that gave the least in Levittown Patch lived in Croydon, the 19021 zip code. Those residents gave 2.7 percent of their income or a total of $1.7 million for that neighborhood.
To put that in perspective, the most generous people come from Utah. Utah residents contributed 10.6 percent of their income to charity – a median of $5,255 per taxpayer, in 2008.
“When a disaster does strike, the Red Cross reaches out to the community for their support," Ward said. "Generally, the support we look for is in the form of dollars, because we can buy the materials more economically. ... and I would say that in general, the residents of Bucks County are generous. They are a caring and generous population. When the need arises, the county rises to the occasion.”
Charitable Giving by Zip Code
19021: Croydon 11,684 of 28,725 Total Contributions $1.7 Million Median Amount $1,142 Median Income $42,098 Percent Given 2.7%
19030: Fairless Hill 8,146 of 28,725 Total Contributions $3.8 Million Median Amount $1,596 Median Income $50,607 Percent Given 3.2%
19007: Bristol 8,444 of 28,725 Total Contributions $3.6 Million Median Amount $1,609 Median Income $40,610 Percent Given 4.0%
19057: Levittown 8,344 of 28,725 Total Contributions $3.6 Million Median Amount $1,343 Median Income $42,395 Percent Given 3.1%
19056: Levittown 7,322 of 28,725 Total Contributions $4.6 Million Median Amount $1,483 Median Income $48,868 Percent Given 3.0%
19055: Levittown 9,460 of 28,725 Total Contributions $2.8 Million Median Amount $1,300 Median Income $43,170 Percent Given 3.0%
19054: Levitton 8,158 of 28,725 Total Contributions $3.8 Million Median Amount $1,295 Median Income $45,569 Percent Given 2.8%
Jason Renard Contributed to this report