Category Archives: 2012 Federal Budget
December 11, 2012, 8:33 am
Politico, a newspaper widely circulated in Washington, published a two-page ad from Independent Sector on Monday that provided a straightforward message to Congress and President Obama: “Don’t push charities over the fiscal cliff.”
The ad, signed by 945 organizations, urges Congress and the president to “preserve the charitable deduction’s powerful incentive for giving” as they negotiate a deal to avert tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to begin January 2.
“Since 1917, our nation’s tax system has strongly encouraged Americans to give back to their communities, and the broad concept of charity on which the deduction is based has given rise to a diverse and pluralistic set of organizations all dedicated to the public good,” says the ad, which is an excerpt of a letter the nonprofits sent to Mr. Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
The ad is part of a broader strategy to…
November 13, 2012, 8:48 am
Nonprofits need to alter their approach to protecting the charitable deduction, said nonprofit leaders from across the country gathered in San Francisco over the holiday weekend. Instead of talking about the effects on wealthy donors, they said they must demonstrate they are seeking to protect their services to the poor.
As the lame-duck Congress prepares to convene Tuesday, charity and foundation officials at Independent Sector’s annual meeting discussed the charitable deduction as well as the impact of federal spending cuts that Congress could approve to avert falling off the so-called fiscal cliff.
Lawmakers have discussed many ways to raise money, including capping the tax deduction that taxpayers get for gifts to charities and eliminating the tax deductions that homeowners get for mortgage payments.
Nonprofit leaders say that federal spending cuts of any size will decrease …
November 22, 2011, 11:10 am
Nonprofits could soon face significant cuts in government aid in the wake of Monday’s announcement of an impasse among members of a Congressional committee seeking to close the mounting federal deficit.
Congress voted this summer to require the federal government to slash spending in 2013 if lawmakers don’t pass a deficit-reduction bill by December 23. Now that the “super committee” in charge of drafting such a measure failed, that deadline will be hard to meet.
“The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan,” President Obama said, challenging lawmakers to devise a plan after they return from the Thanksgiving holidays.
He said that if no such agreement was reached, the cuts would indeed take effect in 2013.
The spending curbs would not affect Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, or…
October 13, 2011, 9:44 am
President Obama’s effort to limit deductions for wealthy people, including those for charitable gifts, in his jobs bill may have died last week, but charitable deductions will be front and center in a Capitol Hill hearing next week.
The Senate’s powerful Finance Committee will host a hearing next week that will discuss how some key proposals to change the federal tax code would affect nonprofits.
Testifying at the hearing will be Brian Gallagher, president of United Way Worldwide, and Dallin H. Oaks, a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other witnesses include government and college scholars who have examined the charitable deduction.
The hearing will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern time and will be broadcast online.
To see more about the charitable deduction, go to this special section of The Chronicle’s Web site.
July 18, 2011, 3:57 pm
Independent Sector, the coalition of charities and foundations, took out a full-page paid advertisement today in the political newspaper Politico, urging government leaders to avoid cuts to programs that work with nonprofits and objecting to President Obama’s proposal to limit the value of the charitable deduction.
The ad was signed by 126 leaders at nonprofits, including the American Cancer Society, YMCA of the USA, the Craigslist Foundation, the League of American Orchestras, the Sierra Club, and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
The move is an effort to catch the attention of the White House and Congressional leaders who are now in talks on a deficit-reduction deal that must be negotiated before an August 2 deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling.
Nonprofits worry that many key programs to help the needy will be cut as lawmakers attempt to hash out a deal. In …
July 13, 2011, 2:04 pm
The House Appropriations Committee, which pushed for deep cuts in federal spending in 2011, is starting to signal which programs it hopes to trim in 2012.
Among the first casualties in the nonprofit world: spending on the arts.
The key Republican-led committee, which is now drafting a number of budget bills, on Tuesday adopted legislation that would reduce spending on the National Endowment for the Arts from just under $155-million in 2011 to $135-million next fiscal year.
Americans for the Arts, an advocacy group, complained that the 13-percent cut would be the biggest the agency had suffered in 16 years and was more severe than the 7-percent cut in overall spending outlined in the legislation, which also proposes budgets for the Departments of Interior and Environment and other agencies.
The arts agency—which provides money to states to distribute to theaters,…
July 11, 2011, 10:50 am
Odds are that opposition to increasing taxes would include the president’s proposal to limit charitable deductions for wealthy Americans. Last week many nonprofit leaders were worried that such a measure could be included as part of the weekend negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling.
A spokesman for Sen. Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, who is in the negotiations, said that Sen. Kyl does not believe that increasing taxes, “which also means doing away with the itemized deduction for charitable contributions,” should be a part of any debt package.
July 8, 2011, 5:37 pm
As members of Congress and the White House prepare for this weekend’s closed-door negotiations on a deficit-reduction measure, many nonprofit leaders are worried that charitable deductions for wealthy Americans could face strict new limits.
President Obama this spring said he supports limiting deductions for wealthy people as a way to help bring more tax money into federal coffers—and that would include deductions affluent people take for gifts to charity.
Mr. Obama’s proposal is very much on the table heading into this weekend’s negotiations, as federal lawmakers face pressure to hammer out a deal by August 2 to raise the federal debt ceiling.
Because of that pressure, some nonprofit leaders say they are worried that lawmakers who have previously opposed any changes in the charitable deduction may support the idea just to forge a compromise.
“What the debt ceiling does…
June 29, 2011, 9:24 am
Nonprofits should pay more attention to the questions that federal policy makers are asking about the tax breaks that benefit charities, says Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, the coalition of charities and foundations.
Partly because of budget pressures, both President Obama and Congress are conducting an “extensive look at the sector the likes of which I don’t think we’ve seen in 50 years,” Ms. Aviv said in an interview with The Chronicle. “And the biggest danger of all of this is that nobody’s paying attention.”
Ms. Aviv cited President Obama’s proposal to limit the value of the charitable deduction for wealthy taxpayers, the desire of Mr. Obama and prominent lawmakers to simplify the tax code, and questions that Congressional aides have been asking about how tax law should treat “hybrid” organizations–those combining aspects of both nonprofit and…