(via the Arts Action Fund)
Today, the U.S. House voted along party-lines to pass their tax reform bill (H.R. 1) by a vote of 227-205.
The bill contains a number of provisions harmful to charitable organizations and the arts:
- Overwhelming majority of taxpayers would no longer have access to make tax-deductible charitable contributions. That charitable tax deduction would be limited to the wealthiest 5% of taxpayers.
- Entertainment, amusement, recreation and membership dues expenses related to a business purpose or meeting would be repealed.
- Doubling exemptions and ultimate full repeal of the estate tax, which has historically generated major gifts to charities.
- Elimination of the teacher supplies and instructional materials deduction.
- Repeal of options to treat musical compositions and copyrights in musical works as capital assets.
- Repeal of the historic tax credit.
In sum, Congress is rushing to pass far-reaching tax reform that would have a very negative impact on charitable giving. The latest analysis of the House bill by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that charities, including nonprofit arts organizations, could see a staggering loss of up to $20 billion annually. The resulting loss in charitable giving will cause significant consequences for the health of America’s nonprofit organizations and the communities we serve.
Meanwhile, the Senate is working on a separate bill. This week, the Senate is continuing its consideration in committee, including working through hundreds of amendments. (If your senator serves on that Senate committee, you’ve heard from us already this week, as these senators are the only ones able to vote on amendments right now. Thank you for taking action.)
Now that the House has passed their bill, the Senate anticipates passing their version after the Thanksgiving holiday. These actions will set up a negotiation between the House and Senate. All of this work is an attempt to pass a final bill before the end of the year.
Congress needs to hear from you. Make your voice heard. Tax reform happens once in a generation. For over 100 years, the U.S. tax code has encouraged charity, benefiting the millions of Americans who access services provided by nonprofit organizations. Help #ProtectGiving.