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[teacherartexchange] Politics Effect The Arts


From: woodyduncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Feb 24 2006 - 15:55:45 PST

Forgive me this is political, but it will effect art groups and artists.
I'm passing this information along from a source that I trust.

Looks like our voices need to be heard... Section 201 of HR 4297:
Contact your member of Congress / take action now to ensure that
Congress includes
the first provision and drops the second one.

#1 is positive: it allows artists to donate work to charities and to
claim a tax deduction
for the true value of the work. This is good.

#2 is negative: it says the first $210 of charitable donations (or
$420 if filing jointing)
would not be deductible on your tax return! This is not good.

Take a minute to write our senators and representatives!!!

The whole text of the message I received is below:

Congress is now finalizing a bill that would have a major impact on
the arts. Next week, House and Senate negotiators will start
working out a final version of tax legislation that is
theoretically designed to promote charitable giving, including
giving to the arts. While the bill is large and complicated, the
Senate version includes two provisions of particular importance:
one that is very positive, and one that could have a negative
effect on the arts and indeed on charities in general. Therefore,
it is important for arts advocates to
take action now to ensure that Congress includes the first provision and
drops the second one.

The first provision would encourage artists to donate their works
of art to nonprofit arts, cultural, and educational institutions by
allowing them to claim a tax deduction for the true value of the
works. The provision would both build collections for public use
and give equal tax treatment to artists and non-artists. Currently,
artists can write off only the cost of materials, such as paint and
canvas, not the actual value of the work, while collectors can
deduct the full fair-market value. The provision is important
because most museums, libraries, and archives have limited
acquisition funds; the primary way to acquire new works is through
donations. This type of new tax incentive could make it more
financially feasible for artists to donate their works for public
enjoyment rather than selling them into private hands.

The second provision, while intended to expand charitable giving,
was in fact hastily drafted and could have a negative impact on
many taxpayers and indeed on charities themselves. As a recent Wall
Street Journal article stated, "A Senate measure designed to expand
charitable giving could result in a tax increase for some 37
million taxpayers." Here's how it works: taxpayers would be
allowed to write off gifts only above an annual threshold of $210
($420 for couples who file jointly). In the short term, anybody who
gives to charity and also claims itemized deductions will see their
taxes go up, because the first $210 of their charitable
contributions were not tax deductible. In the long term, Congress
is likely to raise the threshold higher, thereby creating a
disincentive for people to give to charities in the future.
Charities and the communities they serve will suffer. Please help
us fight this dangerous first step down a long and slippery slope.
(We encourage you to read Americans for the Arts'
position paper on this issue.)

Again, a House-Senate conference committee is set to craft a final
bill starting next week, so now is the time to
send a message to both of your Senators and your House Member. We have
provided a sample letter to Congress that you can customize to
reflect your own concerns.

Thank you for your continued support of the arts.

We urge you to forward this message to friends or colleagues that
may be interested in this important tax issue. If you have any
questions, please contact Justin Beland, Government Affairs and
Grassroots Manager, at 202-371-2830, or>


Woody, Retired in Albuquerque

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“The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork
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