NY Bill Proposes Tax Credit for Open Source Developers

“Assemblymen Jonathan Bing and Micah Kellner, along with a number of co-sponsors, have introduced proposed legislation in New York State which would grant a tax credit to individuals acting as volunteers who develop open source programs. The idea of the credit is to ensure that volunteer developers, who could not otherwise deduct their expenses because they are not part of a ‘business’, should nevertheless be able to receive a tax benefit for their contribution. The credit would be for 20% of the expenses incurred, up to $200. The preamble to the bill notes that the New York State Assembly itself currently uses ‘Open Source programs such as Mozilla for email, Firefox for web browsing, and WebCal for electronic calendars’, and that these programs have led to significant cost savings to taxpayers. The preamble also cited a 2006 report authored by John Irons and Carl Malamud from the Center for American Progress detailing how Open Source software enhances a broader dissemination of knowledge and ideas.” from slashdot

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a number of avenues for governments, organizations and other entities to receive funding for programs meant to create jobs and boost the economy. If you are interested in receiving funding for a program and would like to submit a proposal please fill out the form below.

NYbudgetideas.org, crowdsourcing the NYS budget and the tech tools behind it

NYBudgetIdeas, Version 1

yesterday at noon, the NY State Senate launched it’s first step in making NY’s government more transparent and accessible to all. while the site doesn’t feature rounded corners, RSS feeds, or other wizz-boom-bang web 2.0 features, NYBudgetIdeas.org offers THE WORLD access to the NY State budget and four ways for you to suggest ideas to close the budget gap – text messaging, 800 number, webform, email.

for those of you who are wondering about the geek tools – note, this site is super simple. first, the landing site is a basic webform that captures – first & last name, phone, zipcode and comment. the 800 number is connected to PhoneTag.com which translates a voice mail and then emails us text. as for text messages, i have to credit to Nathan Freitas for building out the TextMarks backend. Using a simple PHP script, we get an email that captures the time submitted, cell phone number and comment.

while some might see this as trivial site, it is not. THIS IS ONE BIG BABY STEP. the vision set forth by State Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Malcom Smith, resonates with the Brennan Center for Justice’s report on the dysfunctional nature of NY State Government. his goal – our goal – is to find new ways to bring greater transparency and accessibility to State Government.

if you have any suggestions, we’re all ears!