(Updated 3/1/13 with speakers!)
2012 was like no other year for the charitable community. The sector faced the most significant threats to charitable giving in recent memory. But the battle is not over for the charitable deduction. With the debt ceiling debate looming, delayed spending cuts approaching, talk of more tax increases, and funding for the government running out, Washington is gearing up for an even greater fight over the next few months.
It is more important than ever that foundation executives, nonprofit leaders, and others interested in public policy join us to learn about what you can do to protect charity.
8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Welcome and Congressional Panel
With tax reform on the horizon, and the pressing need for deficit reduction, we expect 2013 to be a critical year for our sector. In this discussion, Congressional staff will provide an insider’s look at the legislative landscape on Capitol Hill for 2013 and what issues could impact the philanthropic community.
Preston Rutledge, tax & benefits counsel for Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senate Finance Committee
Tiffany Smith, tax counsel for Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Senate Finance Committee
Steve Taylor, senior vice president and counsel for public policy, United Way Worldwide (moderator)
*additional House Ways and Means speakers to be confirmed
9:30 – 9:40 a.m.
Hot State Issues
State and local governments are under increased budget pressure exacerbated by recent, and likely further, federal spending cuts. In many cases, states are curtailing tax breaks to raise more revenue, raising tax rates and fees, and are cutting their own spending. This panel will identify some of these trends.
Pat Read, principal, Pat Read Consulting
9:40 – 9:50 a.m.
Paradigm Shift: What is the Purpose of the Charitable Deduction?
The charitable deduction has become a top revenue target in Washington because its policy justification has been forgotten. Alex Reid, formerly of the Joint Committee on Taxation, will discuss the legal and policy underpinnings of the charitable deduction, and why it should be taken off the table as a source of government revenue.
Alexander Reid, of counsel, Morgan Lewis (former staff member for Joint Committee on Taxation)
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Lessons Learned from the Fiscal Cliff
Even though Congress narrowly averted the fiscal cliff just a few months ago, the first half of this year is peppered with more federal budget deadlines. In December, we met with more than 125 lawmakers, along with other leaders of the Charitable Giving Coalition, to relay our message on the value of charitable giving incentives to policymakers. By explaining why our sector is different and the charitable deduction is unique, we kept direct cuts, caps, and limits to the charitable deduction at bay. We also utilized a successful multi-pronged media strategy to strengthen our message to lawmakers back home and in communities across the country.
For the next round, the stakes are even higher and both sides have already dug in. Tax deductions and credits are attracting more and more attention. What lessons from the fiscal cliff debate can we use going forward to protect the charitable deduction? This panel will explore all of these options.
Steven Moore, executive director, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust (introduction and remarks)
Alison Hawkins, director of external affairs, The Philanthropy Roundtable
Gloria Johnson-Cusack, executive director, Leadership 18
Sandra Swirski, executive director, Alliance for Charitable Reform
Sue Santa, senior vice president for public policy and legal affairs, Council on Foundations (moderator)
*additional speakers to be confirmed
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Joint panel with ACR, Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Topic to be announced soon.