End-of-Year Legislative Update
In our pre-recess August update, we focused on efforts by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) in the first half of the year to build momentum toward tax reform. This year-end update will review major milestones from the first half of the year, update you on progress since Congress returned in September, and lay the runway for what we expect to happen in 2014.
Recap – First Half of 2013
Earlier this year, Chairman Camp established eleven working groups of House Ways and Means Committee Members to examine specific sections of the tax code. A Republican and Democrat co-chair led each working group, and the effort resulted in noticeable bipartisan goodwill. This process also yielded a 500-page report, outlining an array of potential options for reforming nearly all portions of the code.
In the Senate, Chairman Baucus took a different approach – convening a series of 10 closed-door meetings with Members of his Finance Committee, each reviewing related sections of the code. After these meetings, an options paper was released presenting a broad scope of proposals from a variety of public sources. These included previously introduced bills and proposals from the Administration, think tanks, and former Members. The Finance Committee’s papers were not necessarily endorsements of specific policies, but rather a compilation of options.
The Chairmen also made efforts to show their bipartisan collaboration and mutual respect. They opened a joint web portal, giving the broader public an opportunity to submit thoughts and recommendations. They made numerous attempts to highlight weekly meetings and the media portrayed their discussions as moving forward hand-in-hand. This summer, they also launched the “Max and Dave Road Show,” a countrywide town hall-style tour designed to generate grassroots interest in and momentum for tax reform. The pair made stops at businesses ranging from mom and pop operations to Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and Tennessee.
Heading into August recess, there was a fair chance that some sort of tax reform could move through Congress (or at least the House) before the end of 2013.
Fall Fiscal Battles
Upon returning from August recess, Chairman Camp met regularly with Ways and Means Republicans, often sitting with Members behind closed doors for hours at a time to discuss details of his reform legislation. Camp also met with Republicans off Committee to explain the benefits of tax reform, and how to sell it politically amid concerns that cutting credits and deductions might be difficult for constituents to understand or tolerate.
On the other side of Capitol Hill, Chairman Baucus told the public his Committee intended to release a fulsome draft and hold a markup before the end of the year. Progress began to slow, however, as senior Senate Democrats questioned the political wisdom of pursuing tax reform in the run-up to the 2014 mid-term elections, when Senate Democrats will be defending their majority.
By mid-September, all eyes were focused on the looming government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis. Some tax reform proponents were even optimistic that tax reform instructions could be included in a bill to raise the debt ceiling. But then the federal government actually shut down on October 1 after Congress failed to reach a budget agreement. Some tax options, such as granting corporations a repatriation holiday, were discussed during the ensuing negotiations, but were ultimately left out of the final deal.
On October 17, President Obama signed the final agreement that extended government funding through January 15, 2014 and raised the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014. A separate budget conference committee with Members from both chambers and parties was created to negotiate a longer-term budget agreement by December 13, 2013.
After the shutdown ended, Chairman Baucus told reporters that prospects for tax reform in the Senate were still “quite good” and that his efforts would run on a parallel track to the budget conference. At the end of November, Baucus released three tax reform discussion drafts to galvanize his Committee and solicit feedback from interested stakeholders. Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) expressed hesitation with Chairman Baucus’s drafts, saying there were “still wide gaps” in their ideas for reform, and “there is nothing that I think will bring us all together.”
In the House of Representatives, after meeting with Republican Leadership on November 14, Chairman Camp backtracked on his promise to consider a bill by the end of the year. He followed on December 4 by announcing he would postpone tax reform efforts until 2014, attributing the delay to scoring issues and the three-week government shutdown.
Signals from the Administration
At the end of November, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew asked Congress to engage the Administration on tax reform, saying the White House plan shared “much in common with plans currently under consideration on Capitol Hill.” At the time, Lew’s statement was considered a sign of the Administration’s growing interest in tax reform, especially on the corporate side where Democrats and Republicans generally agree on trading credits and deductions for a lower statutory rate. Looking back to the last major tax code overhaul in 1986, however, such a sweeping revision of the code is unlikely without significant Presidential involvement.
In the thousand days leading up to the 1986 reform act, President Ronald Reagan developed his own comprehensive proposal through the Treasury Department, gave public speeches on the need for tax reform, and engaged Congress to iron out details and address challenges. So far, President Obama is keeping tax reform at arms-length.
The Budget Conference
After weeks of negotiations, House and Senate Budget Committee Chairs Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) announced a bipartisan agreement on December 10 to fund the government and avert another shutdown for two years. On December 12, the House passed the legislation by a vote of 332 to 94, with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting in favor of the agreement. Less than a week later, the Senate approved the deal by a vote of 64 to 36. Nine Republicans joined all 55 members of the Democratic caucus voting for the legislation. President Obama is expected to sign the bill very soon.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 alleviates sequester cuts to discretionary spending programs by $63 billion over two years and sets top line budget levels at $1.012 trillion for fiscal year (FY) 2014 and $1.014 trillion for FY 2015. These levels fall between the $967 billion level in Chairman Ryan’s proposal and the $1.058 trillion spending level sought by Chairwoman Murray and the Senate-passed budget. The agreement does not provide relief for sequester cuts to mandatory spending, which remain in effect as scheduled.
2014: What’s Next
The tax reform discussion in the Senate may change entirely as Chairman Baucus is expected to leave the helm of the Finance Committee to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to China. Rumors are that current Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), the third ranking Democrat on Finance, will take over as Chairman. Wyden has already released his own comprehensive tax reform proposal with Senator Dan Coats (R-IN): The Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2011. Wyden’s legislation cuts out many credits and deductions from the code to consolidate the number of individual income tax brackets from six to three: 15 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. It would also reduce the top corporate rate to 24 percent, down from the current 35 percent.
You may also recall that Wyden has co-authored a letter with Senator John Thune (R-SD) urging Senate Finance Committee Leadership to “protect the full value and scope of the charitable deduction.” His previous interest in tax reform means that, eventually, Wyden could be a forceful leader of the committee. In the meantime, however, certainly some of the momentum has been lost.
In the House, Chairman Camp stands ready to roll out his reform legislation, subject to the approval of his party leadership. House Budget Chairman and Ways and Means Member Paul Ryan recently told reporters to keep an eye on the Committee in the first quarter of 2014 as they look to advance tax reform legislation. If Chairman Camp publicly releases a bill early in the year, this would signal his intention to pass major reforms before losing his chairmanship (he is term-limited and will have to step down as Chairman at the end of 2014). If not, it may mean House Leadership asked the Chairman to indefinitely postpone his plans.
There are other signals to watch as well. A package of short-term tax incentives, collectively known as “tax extenders,” will expire at the end of 2013. Both Chairmen maintained throughout the fall that tax extenders would be dealt with as part of tax reform. With that off the table for 2013, however, Congress will likely craft a bipartisan agreement early in the New Year. It will be important to watch who moves this process forward and how.
If Chairman Camp does not achieve his tax reform goals next year, he could seek a waiver to continue as Chairman of Ways and Means into 2015 and move his package during the next Congress. This waiver scenario was looking very likely until other members of Ways & Means began nipping at his heels. Rep. Ryan recently announced his intentions to seek the Ways and Means gavel when Camp’s term is up, and Republican Leadership may favor Ryan with his recent bipartisan success in the budget conference. Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), the third ranking member on the panel, has said he is qualified, prepared, and interested in leading the Committee, and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is also considering a push for the top spot. We’ll need to wait until 2014 to make any real predictions on how this plays out.
2014 Still Matters
If tax reform does not make it to the President’s desk in 2014, the process will pick up in 2015 where this Congress left off. Our advocacy efforts will continue with the release of each additional discussion draft, options paper, and the like, or with the announcement of a new Chairman of a tax-writing committee. Remember that many tax issues are still undecided, and nothing is completely on or off the table yet. And with the two Chairmen overseeing this effort still slated to lose their gavels at some point in 2014, there is too much up in the air to sit on the sidelines.
With that in mind, we remind you about the 2014 ACR Summit for Leaders. ACR, the Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers are co-sponsoring Foundations on the Hill (FOTH), an annual opportunity occurring March 5 for grantmakers and regional associations to meet with their federal lawmakers in Washington, D.C. The ACR Summit for Leaders will be part of FOTH’s programming. Registration for the event will be available in January.
The Year in Review
A Look at Some of the Stories of 2013
The holiday season is upon us, presenting an opportunity to reflect on the previous year. In that spirit, we have taken a moment to revisit some of the key events and news stories of 2013. We wish all of you a happy holiday season and look forward to a new year of continuing the critical work of educating legislators about the importance of preserving policies that encourage charitable giving and protect philanthropic freedom.
ACR Testifies Before House Ways and Means Committee
Nonprofit and charity leaders from across the country testified before the House Ways and Means Committee at a February hearing on tax reform and charitable contributions. ACR members David Wills and Brent Christopher were among those who reminded the Committee that incentives to encourage private charitable giving were vital and would be seriously harmed if the charitable deduction were cut, capped or limited. Alexander Reid, former staffer for the Joint Committee on Taxation, also submitted testimony for the record about the legal and constitutional justification for the charitable deduction.
ACR Summit for Leaders
On Tuesday, March 19, over 230 foundation and nonprofit leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. for the fourth annual ACR Summit for Leaders, which was the featured programming of this year’s Foundations on the Hill (FOTH). ACR co-sponsored FOTH with the Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. The ACR Summit continues to provide a forum for the philanthropic community to engage with experts and leaders on issues at the intersection of public policy and philanthropy.
Book on Transparency in Philanthropy
Calls for more transparent private philanthropy have increased the need for philanthropic organizations to carefully plan and think about what sort of information they will make public, how they will shape their disclosure strategies, and how they will assess the benefits and costs of voluntary transparency. To help organizations answer these questions, The Philanthropy Roundtable published a book in March by noted legal scholar John Tyler, general counsel of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, titled Transparency in Philanthropy: An Analysis of Accountability, Fallacy, and Volunteerism. The book and companion guide are available to download for free here.
Open Letter from Economists
In April, Politico published an open letter signed by more than 230 economists urging members of Congress to “preserve the charitable deduction as a proper, beneficial, and socially cost-effective feature of the federal individual income tax and contributor to a civil society.” The letter was shared with all tax staff on Capitol Hill and received positive attention in other media outlets.
The ‘Blank Slate’ Approach
In June, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced a “Blank Slate” approach to tax reform, effectively stripping all deductions and credits from the tax code. ACR’s response to that approach was included in media coverage from several outlets including The New York Times, The Hill and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
One of the biggest stories of 2013 was the IRS scandal in which the agency subjected certain groups applying for 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 status to additional scrutiny and demands for “inappropriate data” and “unnecessary information” based on perceived political affiliation. The Philanthropy Roundtable President Adam Meyerson addressed the IRS scandal in the summer 2013 edition of Philanthropy magazine, noting that in our efforts to preserve philanthropic freedom, “we will strongly oppose efforts by federal and state legislators to restrict what is considered charitable. Americans have historically enjoyed wide discretion in choosing their charitable causes, even unpopular ones.”
Free to Give
In an effort to better utilize new forms of media when sharing the message of protecting private giving, ACR significantly ramped up its use of video this year. As a result, the “Free to Give” interview series was born. The series features interviews with nonprofit leaders about issues important to the sector. Topics range from the Tax Foundation’s report on eliminating the charitable deduction to the role of religious institutions and tax reform. Those interviewed for the series include Arthur Brooks, Howard Husock, Robert Sharpe, and more.
The Philanthropy Roundtable held its 22nd annual meeting in October in suburban Los Angeles. The annual meeting is The Roundtable’s premier event for foundation trustees and philanthropic decision makers committed to strengthening our free society and to exploring, collaborating, and solving our nation’s greatest problems through meaningful and effective philanthropy. ACR was heavily involved in the annual meeting, organizing panel discussions that addressed the IRS scandal, the charitable deduction, and other topics. The keynote speaker for this year’s annual meeting was noted actor and philanthropist Gary Sinise.
Protect Giving Day
More than 200 frontline representatives from the charitable sector gathered in Washington, D.C. on November 20 for the second annual Protect Giving Day. Members of the Charitable Giving Coalition – a group of more than 60 nonprofits, foundations and other charitable organizations serving every state in the country – met with nearly 150 congressional offices to warn that any limitations to the charitable tax deduction would have negative consequences for those in need. Protect Giving Day also featured a panel discussion about the charitable deduction that featured Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute; Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute; and Robert Sharpe, president of the Sharpe Group. A recap of Protect Giving Day can be found here.
Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) – both members of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees tax policy – authored a letter to Senate Finance Committee leadership in November urging them to support the charitable deduction during tax reform consideration. The letter underscores growing bipartisan support for the 100-year-old tax incentive that encourages charitable giving.
White House Tax Plan Would Be Grinch For Blue State Charity
By Howard Husock
‘Tis the season for charitable giving, both because of the holiday spirit and the scramble for tax deductible donations before year’s end. Americans are the most generous people on earth and the $300 billion-plus in U.S. charitable giving swamps European nations, both in magnitude and percentage of the economy. But America’s wealthiest households—whether because of their generosity or the fact that they can use the charitable tax deduction more than those who don’t itemize their tax returns, are responsible for a significant portion of overall charitable giving; itemizers, for instance, are responsible for 59 percent of all household giving. More specifically, wealthy donors come disproportionately from liberal “blue states,” where both income and property tax rates are higher—and thus the charitable tax deduction provides an extra incentive to give.
But despite the fact that large blue states like New York and California overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama, a White House tax proposal that would sharply limit the value of the charitable tax deduction could effectively target nonprofits in such states; it could mean that, by this time next year, charitable giving in these and other blue states may drop. As I spell out in a forthcoming paper for the Manhattan Institute, this would jeopardize the income of some of the nation’s leading universities, hospitals and museums, a great many of which are headquartered in New York and California.
This year, as it has every year since taking office, the Obama White House has proposed to cap the value of the charitable tax deduction at 28 percent of the contribution made—even for those whose top marginal tax rate has gone up (since this past January) to 39.6 percent. The new top tax rate means that the most affluent households will be paying more in taxes and have less disposable income for charitable donations, while the proposed deduction cap hurts the marginal incentive to give. With the proposed plan, instead of reducing their tax burdens by 39.6 cents on a dollar by giving to non-profit groups and foundations—as they can now—they’d only see a 28 cent per dollar tax break for such giving. Think of it as an increased price on charitable giving.
For the White House, this is part of its push to have the wealthy pay their “fair share” in taxes, notwithstanding the fact that the wealthiest five percent already pay 58.7% of all federal income taxes.
But the wealthiest also give disproportionately to charity. As the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has reported, some 95 percent of high net worth households—those reporting earnings of more than $200,000 annually—make charitable donations, compared to just 65 percent of the population at large.
One would expect then, that any reduction in the incentive for the wealthy to reduce their taxes by giving to charity would have a significant impact on overall donations. In an important paper published earlier this month, Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, found that the Obama “28 percent” solution—which, it should be noted, would apply to all tax deductions, not just charitable giving—could reduce overall donations by as much as $9.4 billion, or 4.5 percent of the $211 billion in overall household giving.
But the impact would not likely be felt equally in all parts of the United States. That’s because so many of high net worth households who itemize their tax deductions—and make use of the charitable deduction, along with other deductions to compensate for their high tax brackets—live in northeastern, mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes states, or California. Indeed, some 35 percent of all high net worth tax filers—those earning more than $200,000 a year—live in the Northeast states or California.
Capping the value of their tax deductions means they will have less to give to charity—and less reason to give to charity. As Williams College economist Jon Bakija puts it: “charitable giving decisions are responsive to incentives.” This is no mere hypothetical. The Obama proposal could be considered in the coming months by the tax reform caucus being led by Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Michigan), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, who have said they considered everything on the table to simplify the tax code.
If blue state donors would be hit, it stands to reason that so would blue state not-for-profit organizations—including universities, hospitals and museum—that rely on philanthropic support. It is difficult to say with certainty that organizations with national reputations that are headquartered in New York or California rely disproportionately on donors in their regions—but there’s good reason to think so. Columbia University, for instance, reports that 58 percent of individual donors to the university and its medical center live in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, including 42 percent from New York alone. Indeed, education would likely be particularly hard hit; Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy reports it’s the favorite cause of high net worth donors. But the effect would be diverse. The Central Park Conservancy, which maintains the most famous park in the United States, reports that 85 percent of its contributions come from the same “tri-state area” of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Any steep drop in charitable giving in the northeast region and California would likely hit a great many prominent non-profits, as ranked, for instance by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which compiles a “top 400” list of non-profits, ranked by how much they receive in philanthropic support. Of those 400 organizations, 118 are headquartered in either New York or California and, their national reputations notwithstanding, are thus likely to draw disproportionately from those states. They include Stanford, Columbia and New York Universities, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The core idea of tax reform—to simplify the tax code to limit the influence of special interests and minimize economic distortions through government subsidy or tax incentives—is worthy and overdue. But it is not unreasonable to demand that any reform plan strive to maintain at least the current level of U.S. charitable giving. In contrast to, say, the mortgage interest deductions, charitable donors do not receive personal benefits from their gifts. Instead, they help others. More broadly, charitable giving can be thought of as a national non-profit venture capital fund for innovative approaches to helping the needy, conducting medical research and bolstering laudable deeds from organized religion. Americans have never wanted to shift these efforts to government, but every dollar redirected from charity to the IRS instead flows to government. To adopt tax policies that would curtail charitable giving, one must believe that government can spend it more wisely. It’s worth debating whether major hospitals or universities should continue to enjoy non-profit status. It’s worth debating the appropriate role of philanthropy in America. But it’s simply not a good idea to cut charitable giving without regard for its effects and without being mindful of the particular pain that will be felt in our largest states.
This article originally appeared in Forbes and has been reprinted here with the permission of the author.
ACR News 12.13.2013—A Holiday Budget Agreement
>> Federal: Budget Agreement Reached
>> Federal: Tax Reform Status
>> Federal: Wyden-Thune Letter
>> Federal: An Interview with Howard Husock
>> Consider This: Extended Term for Chairman Camp?
>> Top Reads: Thune-Wyden Letter Aids Bid to Save Charitable Deduction: Taxes
Happy holidays from the ACR team here in Washington! There’s been a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill since lawmakers returned from the Thanksgiving break, most notably the announcement of a budget agreement reached after months of negotiations (more below). Budget Conference Committee Chairs Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) came to an agreement that passed the House of Representatives Thursday evening and will be considered by the Senate next week before Congress adjourns for the year. Following adjournment, the House and Senate will return to DC on January 6 and 7, respectively.
On Tuesday evening, House and Senate Budget Committee Chairs Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that they had reached a bipartisan budget agreement. As you may recall, this Conference Committee was established by an October deal to re-open the government and raise the debt limit. The House passed the agreement Thursday evening by a vote of 332-94.
While the package, named the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, is far from the “grand bargain” many had hoped for, this smaller deal funds the government and averts future government shutdowns through the fiscal year 2015. The bill reduces the magnitude of the scheduled sequester cuts by a total of $63 billion over two years. The agreement sets top-line spending levels at $1.012 trillion for fiscal year 2014, and it sets fiscal year 2015 spending levels at $1.014 trillion – both of which are higher than what would have been had a deal not been reached.
Notably, this agreement does not include any new revenues from tax increases or closing “tax loopholes.” Instead, revenues are raised through a combination of spending cuts to non-entitlement programs (such as community development programs and education programs) and other budget savings. The specific areas for those cuts are left to the Appropriations Committees in Congress, but they will not be flat-out “across the board” cuts as they were under sequestration. With respect to new revenue, money is raised through changes to government employee retirement contributions, increases in airport security fees, some reforms to the Postal Service, and increasing fees paid to the Customs service among others.
The agreement does not address the issue of raising the debt ceiling, which is the total amount of money the government is allowed to borrow to meet its existing payment obligations. The budget agreement in October extended the debt limit until February 7, though the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted the ceiling will not actually be reached until mid-March due to the use of “extraordinary measures.” We expect this debate to consume much of the political agenda at the start of the new year.
As noted above, the budget agreement does not include any new tax revenues or loophole closures. While some Democrats had hoped taxes would be included in a deal, Republicans were vehemently opposed to any tax increases. And now that the bill is progressing toward becoming law, some believe the absence of tax increases allows Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) to proceed with their own tax reform plans in 2014. By not making any changes to the tax code, the bill frees up the Chairmen to use any revenue created through tax reform to lower rates and simplify the code, rather than using revenues to replace sequestration cuts.
In terms of 2013, the window for tax reform is closed. Two weeks ago Chairman Camp told reporters that he would not introduce a bill this year. “We’re running out of time and I have no plans to introduce the tax bill this year,” Camp said after a weekly lunch meeting with the Republicans on the committee. He said he will continue briefing Members both on and off the Ways and Means Committee on his goals for tax reform, but he did not offer any details on his plans for the beginning of 2014.
On the other side of the Capitol, Chairman Baucus has said that he will release an additional discussion draft or two before the end of the year, which are rumored to focus on education and energy, but time is running out. Chairman Baucus already released three discussion drafts on international tax reform, tax administration, and cost recovery for businesses, but no further action has been scheduled for the Senate Finance Committee.
The lack of action with respect to tax reform also leaves the package of annually expiring tax provisions, known collectively as “extenders,” to expire on December 31. The IRA charitable rollover is one of these tax provisions. And while it is not uncommon for these to lapse and be renewed retroactively, the continued uncertainty of what a tax reform plan will look like, or if it will happen, has made stakeholders nervous. We expect these extenders to be dealt with as part of a tax reform bill in 2014, but to be renewed as a standalone package at the end of the year if the tax reform effort fails.
We still need your help! As you have seen in our Calls to Action, Finance Committee Members Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Thune (R-SD) have authored a letter to fellow congressional members urging them to support protecting the charitable deduction. The letter underscores growing bipartisan support for the 100-year-old tax incentive that encourages charitable giving. We are still seeking other Senators to sign onto the letter, and if you can contact your Senators to encourage them to join in support of this vital tax provision, please click this link.
Our latest guest on the “Free to Give” interview series is Howard Husock, vice president for policy research at the Manhattan Institute and the director of the Social Entrepreneurship and Civil Society Initiative. He spoke to us following his participation in a panel discussion on the findings of the American Enterprise Institute’s study on charitable giving.
With big budget dealings hanging over Washington, it seems tax reform has fallen by the wayside.
That is true. Sort of.
Behind the scenes the activity continues. As stated above, we expect Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus to release some more draft tax reform language – probably in the education and energy areas. What he has released so far - particularly on the international tax front – has generated a lot of activity and a fair amount of controversy.
In the House, Ways and Means Chairman Camp has announced he won’t be pursuing tax reform, at least not this year. But we expect activity on tax reform and possible release of a full-fledged bill, to resume early next year. And most interesting to us of all, while Chairman Camp was scheduled to cycle off as Chair in 2015 due to term limits, we are now hearing credible rumblings that he may be granted a waiver to stay on for another two years.
If Democrats retain control of the Senate in 2014, we expect Senator Wyden (D-OR) to take over as chair of the Finance Committee. He is one of the few members of Congress with a fully fleshed out tax proposal. Bottom line: we would expect him to make tax reform a priority. And if Republicans take the Senate, we would expect Senator Hatch (R-UT) to do the same.
At the end of the day, we expect more progress on tax reform next year but the real push is likely to wait until after 2014.
- Federal: Thune-Wyden Letter Aids Bid to Save Charitable Deduction: Taxes
- Federal: $9-Billion in Gifts at Risk if Deduction Is Reduced, Study Forecasts
- Federal: The roots—and some results—of the charitable tax deduction
- Federal: Sen. Wyden defends charitable donation tax breaks
- Opinion: ’Tis better to give, but some give more
- Opinion: Tax deduction for Oregon charities serves not as loophole, but ‘lifeline’
- Opinion: Editorial: Charitable giving tax deduction deserves support
- ACR Blog: Friday Deadline for Signatories of Wyden/Thune Letter
- ACR Blog: #GivingTuesday
- Multimedia: Protect Giving Day 2013
- Multimedia: Howard Husock on AEI Study and Independent Philanthropy
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