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Deduction Cap Still On the Table

Advocates Alert: December 6, 2012 [Updated December 11]

Yesterday, we joined with more than 250 nonprofit leaders from around the country for the Charitable Giving Coalition's Protect Giving DC Days. (See news clips) This event, along with the efforts of nonprofits like yours, are yielding statements of support from across the political spectrum:

Charities today face the prospect of enduring another recession that will again put downward pressure on giving. This is not the time to reduce the charitable deduction and further suppress the incentive to give.
--Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ranking Republican, Senate Finance Committee

Well, if you eliminated charitable deductions, that means every hospital and university and not-for-profit agency across the country would suddenly find themselves on the verge of collapse. So that’s not a realistic option.
-- President Barack Obama in a Bloomberg interview

No Time for Complacency -- Act Now to Save the Charitable Deduction

Despite the kind words quoted above, a cap or other limit on deductions, including the charitable deduction, is still very much on the table in offers from both sides as Democrats and Republicans consider ways to raise revenues to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

A fixed dollar cap on deductions could be particularly damaging, effectively eliminating the tax incentives for donations and bargain sales of land and easements. It could even affect deductions carried forward from earlier gifts.

Here are four ways you can help today:

  • Call Congress -- We've produced talking points for your reference, but your senators and representatives care most about local stories. Convey what a decline in charitable giving means to organizations in your community. Any legislator could swing either way on this issue depending on other priorities at risk, so your calls are critical! Dial: 202-224-3121.
  • Get your board, supporters and partners involved -- The message is simple: Call and urge Congress to not cap charitable deductions as part of a fiscal cliff deal. Background here.
  • Send a letter -- Calls are always most effective, but Independent Sector has also created an easy letter-writing tool. Please take time to customize; all politics is local.
  • Submit an Op-Ed -- Keep the pressure on by teaming up with another charity to submit a joint Op-Ed to the newspaper that covers your region. Explain how a cap on charitable deductions will affect your community. Click here for a sample.

We will continue to update the list of relevant news clips here.

New Coalition Letters Promote Easement Incentive & Farm Bill

What do Audubon, the cattlemen, and the NRA have in common?

The Conservation Easement Tax Incentive Coalition is working hard to keep the enhanced easement incentive on the agenda, even in the midst of this fiscal cliff madness. Yesterday, ten diverse national organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging a two-year extension of this critical conservation tool.

We and the Trust for Public Land also sent Congress a letter highlighting the 82% approval rate for land conservation ballot measures and urging support for the easement incentive, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Farm Bill.

There is still hope. The President's fiscal cliff proposal would extend the incentive and there's growing buzz around the idea that the Farm Bill could be added to that package because it cuts spending by $35 billion.

Click here for tools and talking points to advance these issues.

Thanks for helping!


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Advocates Alerts

February 12: The House successfully voted 279-137, demonstrating a supermajority (67%) of support, on H.R. 644, a package of charitable incentives including the conservation tax incentive.Now we need your help in the Senate to secure co-sponsors! Sens. Heller and Stabenow have requested land trusts’ assistance in asking senators to cosponsor S. 330, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. Learn more »

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