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Tax Credits for Donations to Refugee Resource Centers

April 15, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Jill Barnas

Executive Summary

A refugee is an individual located outside of the United States and outside their country of origin. These individuals may be of special humanitarian concern to the United States because of persecution or fears persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The Office of Refugee Resettlement assists refugees with relocating to the United States, accessing state government welfare and healthcare benefits, employment preparation and placement, and English language training. Refugees deemed ineligible for state welfare and health benefits may receive assistance through Cash and Medical Assistance grants, which reimburse states and non-state entities that administer resettlement programs. Non-state entity programs receive funds from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and through donations. Filed in the 2022 legislative session, SB 1233 would provide a tax credit for those who make monetary donations to refugee resource centers. 


  • During FY22, 217 refugees admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program  and 1,755 Afghans admitted through different federal processes have arrived in Missouri.
  • Refugees use welfare and healthcare benefits upon arriving in the United States. However, their public benefit usage significantly declines within 10 years. 
  • Research suggests that even with reductions in refugee acceptance, there has been little to no effect on property or violent crime.
  • Of the 1.1 million refugees arriving to the U.S. between 1987 and 2016, 68% participate in the labor force and 67% have been naturalized. 


  • Tax credits are often used to incentivize taxpayers to invest in high-need projects, government programs, or philanthropic services.  There is limited research investigating tax incentives related to charitable donations. Therefore, it is unclear how tax credits may affect contributions to refugee resource centers.


This Note has been updated. You can access the previous version here (published in April 2022).

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