Friday, May 10, 2013

VITA Volunteers in Christian, Stone and Taney Counties Provide Economic Impact of $2.8 Million

Contact: Nellie Lamers, Family Financial Education Specialist
Tel: (417) 546-4431

University of Missouri Extension recognized community leaders and 25 volunteers with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for providing free tax assistance to low and moderate income families in Christian, Stone and Taney counties.

In 2013, the VITA volunteers assisted over 1,341 low and moderate income families with free tax preparation at six locations: College of the Ozarks, Taney County OACAC Office, Taney County Extension Office, Stone County OACAC Office, Stone County Annex (Galena) and Christian County Extension Office.

VITA volunteers prepared 2,197 federal and state tax returns for taxpayers in Stone, Taney and Christian Counties. Families received $867,067 in Federal Income Tax refunds including $372,048 in EIC and $277,184 in state refunds. In addition, the taxpayers saved $161,304 in tax preparation fees. The economic impact of the VITA programs to the economy of Stone and Taney counties is estimated at $2,860,627.

VITA Volunteers were recognized for their years of service and contributing over 1225 volunteer hours to the program. According to Nellie Lamers, family financial education specialist with University of Missouri Extension, the economic savings in volunteer time by the VITA Volunteers is estimated at $22,748.

Christian County volunteers included: LaNita Brumley, Linda Penn, Rondi Lindquist, and Christian County Site Coordinator’s, Dr. Gordon Carriker and Renette Wardlow.

College of the Ozarks volunteers included: Annette FitzGerald, Heather King, Rachel Mullinax, Jason Poor, April Saunders and C of O VITA site coordinator Teresa Geisler.

Stone County volunteers included: John Bornheimer, Linda Bornheimer, Paul Lathum, Diane Peters, Tracey Sheets and Luanna LaVielle-Fullerton, Stone County VITA site coordinator.

Taney County volunteers included: Robert Davis, Joe FitzGerald, Elaine Rownd, Shannon Startin, Sharon Thompson, and Jody LeMaster, Taney County VITA site coordinator.

Recipients of special recognition from the IRS and VITA Steering Committee for 10 years of community support of the University of Missouri MO TAX and VITA Programs were Teresa Geisler, Annette FitzGerald, Luanna LaVielle-Fullerton, Jody LeMaster, College of the Ozarks and Stone County OACAC.

Christian, Stone and Taney County Commissioners, White River Electric Cooperative -Operation Roundup, MU Extension, Healthy Families Taskforce of Stone and Taney counties and the Children’s Trust Fund were recognized for funding the VITA program.

LaQuita Hall, IRS SPEC representative, Brandon Williams, Taney County Commissioner, and Andrew Zumwalt, University of Missouri Assistant Extension Professor were specialists guests.

Nellie Lamers, University of Missouri Extension family financial education specialist and VITA program coordinator for Stone and Taney counties, commended the VITA volunteers and VITA Steering Committee for their time and economic contribution to the families of Christian, Stone and Taney counties.


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