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New York State Senate bill offers tax credit for open source development expenses.

An interesting bill was just introduced in the New York State Senate: open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S161-2015 [1]

AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a tax credit to individuals for up to two hundred dollars of expenses related to the development and posting of an open source or free license program …

It’s good that it specifically cites the Open Source Initiative [2] and the Free Software Foundation [3] as arbiters of what constitutes an “open source or free license program”. Here’s the full text:

STATE OF NEW YORK

________________________________________________________________________

161

2015-2016

Regular Sessions

IN SENATE

(PREFILED)

January 7, 2015

___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a  tax  credit  to
  individuals  for  up to two hundred dollars of expenses related to the
  development and posting of an open source or free license program

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.    Section  606  of the tax law is amended by adding a new
subsection (ccc) to read as follows:

  (CCC) OPEN SOURCE OR FREE LICENSE CREDIT.  (1)  A  TAXPAYER  SHALL  BE
ALLOWED A CREDIT, TO BE COMPUTED AS PROVIDED IN THIS SUBSECTION, AGAINST
THE  TAX  IMPOSED  PURSUANT TO SECTION SIX HUNDRED ONE OF THIS PART. THE
AMOUNT OF  CREDIT  SHALL  EQUAL  UP  TO  TWENTY  PERCENT  OF  THE  TOTAL
OUT-OF-POCKET  EXPENSES  OF  THE  TAXPAYER  USED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
PROGRAM THAT IS PROVIDED TO THE PUBLIC UNDER  AN  OPEN  SOURCE  OR  FREE
SOFTWARE LICENSE, UP TO A MAXIMUM OF TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS.

  (2)  FOR  THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION, A PROGRAM SHALL QUALIFY FOR
THE CREDIT PROVIDED BY THIS SUBSECTION IF THE CODE FOR SUCH PROGRAM  HAS
BEEN RELEASED UNDER AN OPEN SOURCE LICENSE RECOGNIZED BY THE OPEN SOURCE
INITIATIVE,  OR  HAS  BEEN RELEASED UNDER A FREE SOFTWARE LICENSE RECOG-
NIZED BY THE FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION.

  (3) THIS SUBSECTION SHALL APPLY TO ANY INDIVIDUAL FOR ANY TAXABLE YEAR
ONLY IF SUCH INDIVIDUAL ELECTS TO HAVE THIS SECTION APPLY FOR SUCH TAXA-
BLE YEAR. AN ELECTION TO HAVE THIS SECTION APPLY MAY NOT BE MADE FOR ANY
TAXABLE YEAR IF SUCH ELECTION IS IN EFFECT WITH RESPECT TO SUCH INDIVID-
UAL FOR ANY OTHER TAXABLE YEAR AND PERTAINING TO THE SAME PROGRAM OR ANY
PORTION THEREOF.

  (4) IN NO EVENT SHALL THE  AMOUNT  OF  THE  CREDIT  PROVIDED  BY  THIS
SUBSECTION  EXCEED  THE TAXPAYER'S TAX FOR THE TAXABLE YEAR. HOWEVER, IF
THE AMOUNT OF CREDIT OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION FOR
ANY TAXABLE YEAR RESULTS IN SUCH EXCESS AMOUNT, ANY AMOUNT OF CREDIT NOT
DEDUCTIBLE IN SUCH TAXABLE YEAR MAY BE CARRIED  OVER  TO  THE  FOLLOWING
YEAR  OR YEARS AND MAY BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TAXPAYER'S TAX FOR SUCH YEAR
OR YEARS.

  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to taxable
years beginning on and after the first of January  next  succeeding  the
date on which it shall have become a law.

(I didn’t know New York did this stuff in ALL CAPS — I guess that makes it official!)