Nonprofits: Protect Safety Net Programs and Restore Fair Tax Rates

posted on: December 7, 2012

Editor’s note: Gara LaMarche, a member of NCRP’s board of directors, offers his thoughts on the proposed changes to the charitable deduction:

“In joining forces to oppose any change in the charitable deduction, I think many of my colleagues in the not-for-profit world have their priorities wrong. Research is far from clear that capping or otherwise limiting the amount of the deduction would have a significant effect on charitable giving – Americans were civic-minded long before the deduction, and millions of lower- and middle-income people give generously without any thought of a tax benefit.

What will undeniably do harm to social welfare in this country – to the causes many nonprofits work for – are the kind of deep cuts in safety net programs that will take place if we can’t raise the necessary tax revenue to meet our basic obligations to one another. Nonprofits ought to be joining forces to restore fair tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. That is the vital battle of this moment, and nonprofits should not be missing in action from it.”

Gara LaMarche is senior fellow at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, New York University. He is former president of The Atlantic Philanthropies.