Association for Healthcare Philanthropy Opposes Limits on Charitable Tax Deductions
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2009 — The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) today issued the following statement regarding limits on tax deductions for charitable donations proposed in the Obama Administration's budget.
The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) opposes the proposal in the President's budget that would impose new limits on charitable tax deductions.
AHP applauds the President’s overall efforts in the budget to revive the economy, reform health care, revise energy policy and tackle other important issues affecting the country.
However, the budget also contains a proposal that sends the wrong message at the wrong time to those who support charitable causes. It puts forward a scheme that would effectively devalue charitable gifts made by the very people who are in a position to make substantial donations at a time when they are sorely needed. For those who earn more than $250,000, the proposal would limit the federal tax deduction they may take for their generosity to 28 percent. Currently, they may claim up to a 35 percent deduction.
In these challenging economic times, charities and nonprofits already are finding it difficult to fulfill their altruistic missions because of reduced donations and resources. Yet, in times of economic trouble, it is charities and nonprofits that do much to augment the work of the federal, state and local government in meeting the needs of the American public through their vital programs and services. In fact, charities currently are being asked to provide even greater levels of assistance. The federal government, therefore, should seek ways to bolster charitable giving—as opposed to requiring charities to do more with less.
In fact, research published by the Congressional Budget Office from 1997, the Urban Institute from 2001, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy from 2008 and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University from 2009 all state that giving is sensitive to price incentives provided by after-tax costs. The question that remains is: by how much?