This is the first of a two-part series about the issues ACR members will discuss in meetings with congressional offices on July 8.
Members of the Alliance for Charitable Reform (ACR) leadership team are set to meet with members and staff of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, July 8. The group will discuss some of the charity-related proposals in the tax reform discussion draft released earlier this year by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). ACR thoroughly examined the Camp draft and engaged its members and colleagues in the field for feedback in evaluating these provisions. ACR ultimately identified four that raise serious concerns: three related to the charitable deduction and one related to donor-advised funds. This post will highlight the three provisions related to the charitable deduction.
Dr. Patrick Rooney, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, is our latest participant in our “Free to Give” interview series. Dr. Rooney is also a member of the recently-formed ACR Advisory Council.
2014 - World’s Most Powerful Telescope
The most influential tool in astronomy and astrophysics over the last generation has been the Hubble Space Telescope. In 2014, construction began on a new instrument, to be located atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii, that will provide images 12 times sharper than Hubble’s. The Thirty Meter Telescope will have nine times the light-collecting power of the largest existing telescopes, and its new “adaptive optics”—making constant minute mirror adjustments to counteract turbulence in the earth’s atmosphere—will allow it to create images as sharp as those taken in space where there is no atmosphere to deflect incoming light. The potent instrument will initially be used to understand the formation of stars and planets and the evolution of galaxies, and is expected to have revolutionary effects on cosmology and fundamental physics.
2011 Malaria Vaccine
Malaria remains one of the most intractable diseases in the developing world, killing one million people a year and damaging the economic productivity of many more. Large resources have already been poured into combatting the disease, yet a McKinsey study has noted that $11 billion more would be needed to end malaria deaths in the 30 worst-affected African countries. One promising alternative funded with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a vaccine. In 2011, the first-ever malaria vaccine was announced. It is still in trial stages, but so far seems to prevent severe symptoms in half of the individuals who receive it, while offering extra protection to infants and toddlers. While efficacy rates need to be improved before the vaccine is put into wide use, the initial findings have begun discussions about the long-dreamed-of possibility of widespread immunization in endemic countries.
1982 - Land Trusts Take Off
Land trusts, or conservancies, are private nonprofits that protect land directly by owning it. Though their roots go back to the 1890s, in just the last generation land trusts have become one of the fastest growing and most successful elements of environmental conservation in the U.S. The grandaddy of land trusts is the Nature Conservancy (see 1951 entry), but there are others operating on a national level, like the American Farmland Trust, the Wetlands America Trust affiliated with Ducks Unlimited (see 1930 entry), the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and trusts with specialized missions like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Civil War Trust.
To further enhance our public policy efforts, ACR has convened a new Advisory Council, bringing together some of the nation’s top legal and policy experts on philanthropy. Council members include:
Karen Gries, CliftonLarsonAllen
Emil Kallina, Kallina & Associates
Alexander Reid, Morgan Lewis
Patrick Rooney, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University
Andrew Schulz, Foundation Source
Robert Sharpe, The Sharpe Group
Eugene Steuerle, The Urban Institute
Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation
The Statue of Liberty may be the best known monument in the world, and the adjoining Ellis Island immigration halls are among America’s most historic sites. Both venues have been restored and revamped for mass visitation entirely by private philanthropy. In 1982, as the centennial of the statue approached, President Ronald Reagan appointed Lee Lacocca, then chairman of Chrysler Corporation, to lead a private-sector effort to fund restoration and preservation; the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation was born.
By Diane Freda, Bloomberg BNA
Reproduced with permission from Daily Tax Report, 108 DTR G-1 (June 5, 2014).
Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com
Donor-advised fund representatives are hoping to dial back a proposed five-year spend down requirement that would be imposed on funds as part of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-MI) draft Tax Reform Act of 2014.
Under the Camp discussion draft, donor-advised funds (DAF) would be subject to a 20 percent excise tax on DAF contributions that aren’t disbursed to charities within five years. The tax would apply in every year the donor-advised fund fails to make the distribution
Killing a payout requirement entirely may be difficult to accomplish, Sandra Swirski, executive director for the Alliance for Charitable Reform, told Bloomberg BNA June 3.