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Advocacy Update: Stabenow-Wyden Amendment to Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

  • 1.  Advocacy Update: Stabenow-Wyden Amendment to Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    Posted 11-14-2017 09:51 AM

    Advocacy Update Logo

    WASHINGTON (November 13, 2017) -- 
    AHP today joined the Charitable Giving Coalition in expressing support for a proposed amendment to the Senate Tax Reform Bill that would extend a charitable giving incentive to non-itemizer taxpayers.

    The amendment, submitted by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), would allow an above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions. The maximum deduction would be limited to 60% of modified adjusted gross income and would phase out at higher income levels.

    Expanding the charitable deduction to non-itemizers is critical because the current tax bill would significantly reduce charitable giving. The tax bill doubles the standard deduction, which would dramatically reduce the number of itemizers. 30 million taxpayers who itemized in 2016 would no longer have the giving incentive, resulting in a projected loss of up to $13.1 billion in charitable contributions. The Stabenow-Wyden amendment would offset that loss.

    "The charitable deduction is a critical driver of philanthropic giving in the United States," said Andrew Watt, FInstF, AHP interim president and CEO. "AHP members and their communities benefit greatly from the tax incentives associated with charitable giving. Expanding this opportunity to all taxpayers will enable communities to continue providing important support to hospitals and health care organizations across the country."

    How you can help:

    Contact your Senator and their Chief of Staff to encourage their support of Stabenow-Wyden Amendment #9 to The Chairman's Mark of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This is particularly important if your Senator is a member of the Senate Finance Committee (SFC). If your Senator is not a member of the SFC, ask them to encourage Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to support this amendment.

    Proposed Endowment Tax

    In other public policy news, AHP joins CASE and other members of the charitable community in opposing the proposed excise tax on certain college and university endowments found in H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced Nov. 2 in the House of Representatives.

    While the tax as proposed does not affect endowments held by hospitals or health care organizations, AHP opposes any step that opens the door to taxing endowments. This proposal would serve as a de facto tax on endowed charitable gifts and would direct portions of those gifts to uses outside of the charitable purpose intended by the donor.

    Rather than introduce further restrictions on endowments and charitable giving, AHP supports the Charitable Giving Coalition's proposal for a universal charitable deduction, which would encourage more Americans to make gifts to charitable organizations.

    Bob McDonald
    Digital Content Coordinator
    Association for Healthcare Philanthropy
    Falls Church VA
    (703) 538-3157