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Tuesday - November 28, 2017 3:15 am

Charities worry donations could decrease by billions under GOP tax bill

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Local United Way director says those who simply give to give will continue to give

Charitable groups in America are worried that they might lose some donations under the proposed GOP tax reform bill.

United Way Worldwide predicts that many of the taxpayers who itemize their deductions now may donate less money to charity if they lose the ability to itemize.

Locally, the director of the Great Rivers United Way predicts that the tax bill won't have much influence on those already who are generous.

"It's not going to affect the person who gives because they're drawn to give," Mary Kay Wolf said. "Whether they get a tax deduction for that doesn't affect their giving. But there's a certain percentage of people who do give because they can deduct it."

Those deductions would be drastically cut, the Chicago Tribune states:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, includes a provision that would nearly double the standard deduction to $12,200 for an individual and $24,400 for a married couple. Raising the standard deduction would reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions — including charitable donations — from the current 30 percent to 5 percent, experts say.

Combined with a decrease in the top marginal tax rate, the disincentive to itemize would reduce charitable giving by $4.9 billion to $13.1 billion annually, according to a May study by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

And, as today is Giving Tuesday, it's almost the kickoff for the donations to start rolling in.

"We get a lot of donations that come in at the end of the year," Wolf said. "So, again, people are looking to make sure they give it in the year 2017. We do receive a lot of money between Nov. 1 and the end of the year."

This is the sixth year of the Giving Tuesday promotion.

"The concept is great to remind people that you've been shopping all weekend and now it's time to look ... at giving back." Wolf said.


Last modified on Tuesday - November 28, 2017 3:42 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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