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Tides CEO Melissa Bradley recently signed on to a letter initiated by our colleagues at Independent Sector, and signed by leaders from the nation’s leading foundations and non-profit organizations, urging President Obama and Congress to preserve the tax incentives for charitable giving.  As our elected officials in Washington discuss reductions in spending to lower the national debt, the signatories argue against sacrificing our nation’s social safety net and entitlement programs, and caution against jeopardizing the non-profit sector’s workforce and programs by capping tax incentives for charitable contributions.  The letter states:

Just since 2008 we have seen charitable giving decline by $25 billion as Americans struggle to navigate a difficult economy.  Federal and state budget cuts have further overburdened and diminished the capacity of nonprofits and disproportionately affected those least able to help themselves. It is simply untenable to ask that they also endure the inevitable reductions in nonprofit programs and services that will be driven by a cap on the charitable deduction.

We understand the desire to make the tax code more equitable, but this proposal does not further that goal. Unlike other  deductions, which subsidize personal spending that benefits the individual taxpayer, the charitable deduction actually encourages taxpayers to forego income in order to benefit our communities. The tax deduction for charitable giving is not a path to amassing greater personal wealth or accumulating tangible personal assets.

Click below to view an ad placed in Politico, as well as a fact sheet prepared by Independent Sector:

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To to sign on or get more involved, visit Independent Sector’s website.

Donation box image via Flickr user Matthew Burpee, adapted under Creative Commons license.