taxpayers gave 3.1 percent of their income to charity, more than neighboring Forks Township, according to data compiled by "The Chronicle of Philanthropy."
Based on tax records from the IRS for 2008 – the most recent year for which such data are available – Palmer Township residents in the 18045 zip code gave a median contribution of $1,730 -- 3.1 percent -- to charity on an income of $56,496.
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.
What is a respectful amount to give to charity, or is it asking too much in this economy? Leave a comment.
, meanwhile, donated $1,631 -- 2.7 percent -- to charity on an income of $60,402.
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, Palmer ranks 3,321 while Forks ranks 5,678. Those who gave in Forks lived in the 18040 zip code.
The report data, in some cases, is not broken out into information for a specific municipality because the zip codes of Forks and Palmer townships overlap with Easton.
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.
Here are a few other interesting findings:
-- Those in the middle class give a much larger share of their income to charity – 7.6 percent for Americans earning $50,000-$75,000 – than the wealthy. Americans making more than $100,000 give an average of 4.2 percent.
-- Wealthy people who live in places surrounded by other rich people give less of a share of their incomes than well-off Americans in diverse communities.
-- Residents from New England states like New Hampshire and Maine gave the smallest share of their discretionary income and those in Southern states gave the most.
-- Tax credits for giving make a big difference in how much people give. Arizona has special tax benefits for those who donate and charities are receiving more than $100 million each year.