Jewish Federations Strongly Criticize New Tax Reform Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 26, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT:
Max Samis, Rabinowitz Communications, max@rabinowitz.com, (o) 202-265-3000, (c) 202-681-2528

Jewish Federations Strongly Criticize New Tax Reform Proposal

Plan put forth by Chairman Camp would jeopardize charity work of nonprofit organizations

Washington, D.C. – Today, a new tax reform plan was unveiled in the House of Representatives that could significantly decrease contributions to America’s charities. The Jewish Federations of North America questioned the need for several provisions that would negatively impact giving in the bill proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), saying that the proposal would impact the ability of the charitable sector to help those most in need.

“While comprehensive tax reform is a laudable goal, Chairman Camp’s proposal is simply unacceptable,” said William Daroff, senior vice president for public policy and director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America. “We need to make it easier for people to give back to those who need it most, not harder. Today’s proposal adds unnecessary obstacles for donors who want to support the efforts of America’s charities.”

Daroff commended Chairman Camp for not eliminating the charitable contribution deduction, but expressed alarm at three significant new proposed limitations that would adversely impact giving. “First, imposing a two percent income floor on the first dollar of deductible contributions will certainly result in less giving,” he noted. “Second, decreasing the deductible amount of annual contributions will hurt charities. Third, the proposed change limiting the value of deductions for property will dampen the incentive for gifts of real estate or closely-held business interests.”

With the support of the Jewish Federations and partners in the charitable sector, earlier this year new Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator John Thune (R-SD) submitted a letter signed by one-third of the Senate publicly calling for the protection of the “full value and scope” of the charitable deduction in any comprehensive tax reform legislation.

As various tax reform measures are introduced and discussed over the coming years, JFNA will continue to lead the discussion on ways to expand and incentivize charitable giving, as well as speak out against proposals that harm the ability of charities to do the good that they do every day of every month.

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The Jewish Federations, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent, protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning).

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