Charities Feel Christmas Fear -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
Congress passed its tax cut bill yesterday and the President signed it. So, it's now law. Whatever its merits or demerits, one question raised by the bill relates to charitable giving. The bill doesn't get rid of it, but with the change in deduction (doubling it), there may be less incentive to itemize, which might lead to less incentive to give to charities. We must wait to see. My sense is that very few people give to churches for the tax deduction, but that may be less true of other charities -- like Public Radio or the local art museum. In any case, Martin Marty ruminates on the possible implications in this end of the year Sightings column. I invite you to respond, but I would ask that if you do respond that you stick to the question of charitable giving and not on the merits of the tax bill as a whole. There is a time and place for that, but this isn't it. The point here is what causes one to give to charities? I will note that in my case, most of our charitable giving goes to the church I serve, and the tax implications are irrelevant to that.