Advocacy Alert: Dec. 15

Tax Reform Nears the Finish Line

Earlier this week, Republican negotiators announced that they had reached a deal on the outline of comprehensive tax reform legislation, reconciling differences between legislation that previously passed the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. Even though it has not yet been released publicly, Congress could begin voting on the package as early as Monday, aiming to send it to the President's desk to become law by mid-week.

Ask Your Legislators NOT to Pass Tax Reform that Hurts Charitable Giving

As we have noted for months, these proposals would maintain the charitable deduction, but make other changes to the tax code that dramatically reduce the number of Americans who will claim it. Eliminating this incentive to give for 30 million Americans could cause charitable giving to decline by up to $13 billion annually, according to a recent study by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Advocates for museums and other nonprofits have repeatedly called on Congress to protect giving by enacting a universal charitable deduction, so that every taxpayer is encouraged to donate regardless of whether they itemize their tax return. Despite these efforts, the House and Senate bills did not contain a universal charitable deduction and we have received no indication that one will be included in the final proposal.

Legislators need to know that museums they represent are watching. Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative today:

  1. Use the Alliance's tools to look up your Senators and Representative.
  2. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with their offices. (Phone lines busy? Try calling their local office instead.)
  3. Urge them not to pass tax reform that hurts charitable giving.

You could say something like:

"Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [your city/state]. I'm concerned that the current version of tax reform legislation would cause charitable donations to decline by billions of dollars every year. I'd like to urge you to vote against the conference report unless it corrects this problem by adding a universal charitable deduction, so that every taxpayer is encouraged to support museums and other charities--regardless of whether they itemize their tax return."

If you have a relationship with particular congressional staff, it is even more powerful to reach out to them directly.

See the Alliance's issue brief on charitable giving for more information, and please don't hesitate to contact us with questions.

P.S. Do you wish you could do more to support these critical advocacy efforts? Register now for Museums Advocacy Day 2018 (February 26-27 in Washington, D.C.), and take advantage of a unique opportunity to build relationships with legislators and staff and hone your advocacy skills.

Want to do even more? Make a tax-deductible donation to our advocacy efforts before the tax code changes!