‘SOMERVILLE, NJ - A recent study by SmartAsset.com ranks Somerset County in the top three New Jersey counties based on residents’ charitable giving. The study takes into account charitable contributions as a percentage of net income and the proportion of taxpayers that gave any amount in any given county.

The online financial technology company’s ranking shows Somerset County with a 69.8 score on its Most Generous Places index. Hunterdon County is in the top spot with a score of 73, followed by Morris County with 71.5. View the study results at http://bit.ly/SCGiving.

“Supporting our vibrant nonprofits is an essential part of what makes Somerset County, NJ a special place,” said Freeholder Director Brian D. Levine.  “As a vital part of our local economy, nonprofits assist residents in connecting with a wide variety of resources and services that strengthen our community while serving our ever-expanding, diverse population.”

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To determine the amount of money that people donate as a percentage of their income, SmartAsset first calculated the net income of all people in each county, reviewing 2017 IRS tax return data and accounting for federal, state and local taxes paid. Deductible entries, including mortgage interest, mortgage points and mortgage insurance payments, also were taken into account. Each county's charitable donations total was divided by its total net income to see how much county residents are donating relative to their income.

Next, the total number of tax returns with charitable contributions was divided by the number of total tax returns for each county, giving the proportion of people in each county who make charitable donations. How much people donate as a percentage of their net income, and the proportion of people in a given county who made charitable donations, were indexed and equally weighted to yield SmartAsset’s Most Generous Places index.