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Senator Ron Wyden Meets with Nonprofits, Emphasizes the Importance of the Charitable Deduction
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is holding a series of meetings this week throughout Oregon to bring attention to the importance of charitable giving at a time that Congress is considering reducing the charitable deduction as part of federal tax reform. On December 2, Wyden visited Meals on Wheels People's Elm Court Center in downtown Portland, hosted by Joan Smith, Executive Director, to meet with volunteers and staff and learn more about their important work. Wyden was joined by representatives of nonprofit organizations that have been vocal on the preservation of the charitable deduction, including Meals on Wheels People, “I Have a Dream” Foundation Oregon, The Oregon Community Foundation, and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.
Jim White, the Executive Director of NAO stated that, “Senator Wyden has been a champion in Congress for maintaining the charitable deduction and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon has worked closely with him over the last year to preserve this important deduction. The ability for nonprofits to rely on a tax-deductible incentive is crucial for Oregon nonprofits and the people we serve.”
Senator Wyden's stalwart support for the charitable deduction has been crucial; take a look at the joint letter he and Senator John Thune (R-SD) sent to the Senate Finance Committee leadership on Protect Giving Day last month. Wyden's message remains strong. “The charitable deduction is a lifeline not a loophole. It must be maintained in order for organizations like these to continue to help others. If we are going to do that, then the time to act is now," said Wyden. "Congress is getting ready to start work on reforming the federal tax code. You'll get no argument from me about the need to clean out all the loopholes, deductions, and sweetheart deals that litter the code now. The charitable deduction is not one of them.”
Senator Wyden will visit Medford, Bend, and Eugene this week to discuss the importance of the charitable deduction in those communities. With the national #GivingTuesday effort taking place on today, the timing of Wyden's message is even more relevant. #GivingTuesday attempts to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving. Without the charitable deduction, awareness and giving campaigns such as #GivingTuesday would be deflated and the results for Oregon nonprofits would be significant. Nonprofits need to continue to remind Congress that the charitable deduction is an extremely efficient way for the federal government to spur investment in communities.
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