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Federal Legislation

Update - Deficit Reduction/Debt Ceiling (7.29.11)

Updates on deficit reduction negotiations as of July 29th, 2011:
After originally planning to hold votes Thursday night on a bill to raise the debt limit (see below), it was announced that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) failed to secure the 216 votes needed for the bill to pass. Thus, the House Rules Committee held a special session late Thursday to change the bill in an effort to get more Republican support.  If this bill makes it out of the House, it will go to the Senate where it is widely expected to be defeated, forcing lawmakers to go back to the drawing board and find a compromise.  A vote in the House is now scheduled for later this afternoon, and we will keep you updated as progress takes shape.

From Four Plans to Two
After a week of intense negotiations, we now have two debt ceiling plans: a Democratic plan and a Republican alternative. The Democrat’s plan, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would include $2.7 trillion in spending cuts, no new taxes, and would establish a “joint, bipartisan committee, made up of 12 members, to present

options for future deficit reduction

.” ...

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Federal Legislation

ACR Signs on to Letter Defending the Charitable Deduction

Nonprofits across the country join forces to fight for this incentive to give

ACR and The Philanthropy Roundtable have signed onto a letter with other national nonprofit organizations asking members of Congress such as Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) to protect the value of the charitable deduction by opposing efforts to reduce or cap the value of itemized deductions for charitable contributions in the midst of debt limit negotiations.

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Federal Legislation

Op-ed: ‘Charitable Tax Deduction Fuels Nonprofits, Boosts Economy’

Holly Welch Stubbing, senior vice president at Foundation for the Carolinas, and Bobbi Hapgood, executive director at N.C. Network of Grantmakers defend the charitable deduction in the Charlotte Observer.

Here’s an excerpt: “We strongly believe that the tax-exempt status of charitable contributions must be protected, or we risk widespread disruption in the nonprofit sector, with potentially dire repercussions for the economy… Politicians and policymakers should be doing everything they can to support the nonprofit community and its impact on our economy. That means protecting the charitable tax deduction, so we can continue to invest in programs that create jobs, move people into the workforce and out of poverty, and lay the groundwork for future financial security.”

Further Reading

ACR newsletter (7.15.11)

Current Issue

Friday, July 15, 2011

The latest edition of the ACR newsletter is available below. Here are highlights:

Washington Roundup:Deficit Reduction/Debt Ceiling Talks

  • Multiple Plans
  • McConnell Plan

Consider This: A Passionate Plea for Principled Tax Reform

Click continue reading for the latest edition of the ACR newsletter.

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Federal Legislation

A Passionate Plea for Principled Tax Reform

Consider This…

It seems as if all eyes in Washington (and beyond) are focused on what to do about the debt ceiling.  Yet, at the same time, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have been slogging through a series of hearings and briefings on fundamental tax reform.  Those efforts are laying the groundwork for pursuing serious tax reform.  And the timing on that effort may be sooner than we originally thought.

With that in mind, we’d like to draw your attention to a very well-crafted and thoughtful speech on tax reform by the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Sandy Levin (D-MI).

Congressman Levin starts with a simple premise: Yes, we need tax reform; but no, we should not accept as gospel that the right way to reform is to lower tax rates and eliminate tax credits and deductions. 

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Further Reading

State Legislation

Alert - Hawaii Caps the Charitable Deduction

Update:
Governor Neil Abercombie of Hawaii signed into law legislation capping all deductions on residents with certain income levels. For 2011 through 2015, singles in Hawaii with adjusted gross income (AGI) above $100,000 will only be allowed to claim $25,000 for charitable giving and other deductions, and couples with AGI above $200,000 will be allowed $50,000. This bill is similar to legislation vetoed by the former governor in 2010 but has a lower threshold, capturing more taxpayers.


For full timeline, articles and resources click “continue reading” below.

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Further Reading

Federal Legislation

Update - Deficit Reduction/Debt Ceiling (7.15.11)

Updates on deficit reduction negotiations as of July 15th, 2011:

  • Multiple Plans: This morning, Ezra Klein outlined the 5 plans on the table: (1) a $4 trillion deal that combines elements of broad tax reform and spending cuts (the President’s original proposal); (2) a $2 trillion deal with smaller tax increases and spending cuts; (3) a smaller deal of roughly $1.5 trillion that doesn’t include taxes or cuts to health spending; (4) the McConnell deal (more below); and, (5) a new Reid/McConnell deal, which combines McConnell’s mechanism for raising the debt ceiling with about $1.5 trillion in spending cuts and an expedited process for considering further spending cuts (detailed below).

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Federal Legislation

White House Proposes Cuts to Charitable Deduction as Part of Debt Package

In the continued effort to offset the $400 billion cost of increasing the debt limit, the White House again called for capping itemized deductions at 28%, down from the current 35% top rate. This provision would include the charitable deduction.

The proposal, similar to what President Obama included in his FY2012 budget proposal, would raise $293 billion over 10 years. Republicans roundly rejected this provision after the budget’s release, and with their well-publicized aversion to including tax increases in the Biden talks, we believe this proposal will not progress. We will, however, keep our ears to the ground and provide you with any more updates.

 

ACR newsletter (6.30.11)

Current Issue

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The latest edition of the ACR newsletter is available below. We are sending this newsletter one day early before the long Independence Day Weekend.

Happy Independence Day!


As our nation celebrates its declaration of independence from British rule, we pause to remember that among the freedoms we as Americans enjoy is the freedom to give to the issues, causes and organizations we value in the manner we choose –what we call philanthropic freedom. Have a happy, safe Fourth of July!

Here are highlights:

Washington Roundup:

  • Deficit Reduction/Debt Ceiling Talks

  • Tax Provisions

  • Consider This: Debt Ceiling “Soaps” – Drama Unfolds on Capitol Hill

    Click continue reading for the latest edition of the ACR newsletter.

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    Federal Legislation

    Debt Ceiling “Soaps” – Drama Unfolds on Capitol Hill

    Consider This…

    It is high soap opera season here in Washington, DC.

    After effusively praising the Vice President for his role in high-level debt ceiling negotiations one week, Congressman Eric “Young and the Restless” Cantor (R-VA) abruptly walked out of those negotiations the following week.

    We are reminded by an old budget hand – a former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee - that in a negotiation with stakes as high as these, there has to be accompanying soap opera-like drama.

    Expect more of the same the closer we get to the August 2nd deadline to raise the debt ceiling. It will be “Days of our Lives” meets “Another World” meets (Paul) “Ryan’s Hope”...

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