Capping deductions will cap charity

In the effort to advocate for causes that benefit our homeless clients, Coalition for the Homeless wanted to pass on to our readers the information we received today from our colleagues at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).  As non-profit organization that depends on the generosity of the community for over 65% of our resources, the Coalition participates in AFP, adheres to its professional standards in fundraising, and pays attention to the news and information they disseminate to the charities in our community.

Last week, AFP became aware that President Obama recently announced his intention to pay for his jobs bill by capping itemized deductions, including charitable deductions for high income taxpayers.

The substance of the issue remains unchanged from the Administration’s proposal from two years ago—a 28 percent cap on itemized deductions for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples earning more than $250,000.

AFP’s position is to oppose any proposed cap on the itemized deduction that would reduce charitable giving.  We at the Coalition concur.  Further, an article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy also speaks of stiff opposition from non-profit leaders.

One key question is whether the deficit reduction super committee composed of six House members and six Senators will consider the cap on itemized deductions. AFP is contacting the super committee, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee and House and Senate leaders, to discuss the cap and its potential negative impact on charities and charitable giving.

During the week of October 3, AFP will initiate a new online tool, which will help you contact your Members of Congress with the touch of a button.  Check the AFP website for instructions at that time.

In the meantime, we and they urge you to do the following:

1.       Use this link and type in your zip code to determine your U.S. Representative.

2.       Use this link to determine your two U.S. Senators.

3.       Call the Congressional switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask to speak to your House Member or Senator; and

4.       Write your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators.

5.       Indicate that you are calling/writing on behalf of Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida or any nonprofit of your choice and make at least the following points:

  • Urge them to protect the value of the charitable deduction by opposing efforts to reduce or cap the value of itemized deductions for charitable contributions as part of the President’s American Jobs Act.
  • Proposals to cap itemized deductions at 28 percent would have long-lasting negative consequences for the charitable organizations that millions of Americans rely on for vital programs and services.
  • Reducing the charitable deduction for higher income earners will negatively impact the amount these donors give to charitable organizations. Higher income taxpayers account for the majority of individual giving.
  • Charity-provided services are critical, and reducing charitable giving does not just harm the nonprofit sector, it also hurts the lowest income brackets that rely heavily upon these services. Despite how the proposal looks on paper, wealthy Americans will not bear the brunt of a cap or reduction in the value of itemized deductions – America’s poor will.
  • Urge them to oppose any deficit reduction proposals that would negatively impact charitable giving by reducing or eliminating the charitable deduction.

Thank you for helping us help others back to self-sufficiency!