News from the President 11.24.17

Susan Shattuck:

The Senate GOP tax plan will be voted on next week and a few undecided Republican senators will determine its fate.  

Should the bill pass, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, at least 50 percent of taxpayers will see a tax hike by 2027.  Tax cuts, including standard deductions for those in the lowest tax ranges, will disappear by 2027; tax cuts for those in the highest tax ranges will continue to rise, with the wealthiest receiving a tax cut of over $200,000 each year.

In this landscape the doubling of the standard deduction and the taking away of itemization is a concern for the nonprofit sector.  Under current law, about 30 percent of households itemize rather than taking the standard deduction.  The administration’s plan could make itemization and the charitable deduction unnecessary to many people and it could reduce the tax incentive to give.  Research by the Lily Family School of Philanthropy concluded that doubling the standard deduction and cutting the top marginal tax rate (also in the tax plan) could cause a decline in giving by as much as $13.1 billion.

AFP, the Independent Sector and others are pushing for a Universal Charitable Deduction open to all. In tandem with the tax cut and enlarged standard deduction it could bring in nearly $5 billion in charitable giving.  However, it would also add $18 billion to the cost of the tax package. 

There are many other items, Medicare and Medicaid to name two, that are slated for extinction.  But to me, among the worst is the huge deficit it will incur on our children and our children’s children.

Didn’t something like this happen about a decade ago? It feels like déjà vu all over again.


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