Image via WikipediaIt's really amazing, but there's a far-too-little-known program in Oregon (and especially in Salem, where the need is high) that helps people with few assets build real savings and improve their lives and offers people at the other end of the spectrum a way to deduct more than the value of their contributions from their taxes!
Oregon has a special savings-match-with- financial-education program called Individual Development Accounts, or IDAs. In Marion County, these agencies participate in the program
And if you're on the wealthier end of things and, of course, don't qualify for the IDA program as a participant, you can still benefit big, because contributions to The Neighborhood Partnerships program for IDAs offers you a 75% Oregon State tax credit. So if you give $1,000 you get a tax credit on your Oregon return of $750 (a tax credit comes right off your taxes, dollar for dollar). And this is ON TOP OF the federal deduction you can claim if you itemize. So if you're in a higher tax bracket, you can reduce your total taxes by more than the amount of your contribution (subject to limits your tax adviser can explain to you).
See this page for all the details.