Letter: Tax deduction rules penalize nonprofits

Posted

To the editor:

Though Republican tax reforms caused a nationwide ruckus last year, it's safe to say that people didn't seem to understand how such changes would fully play out. But now, filing under the new system, these changes seem to have hit us in a very real way.

Many families are realizing to their shock that their donations made to nonprofit organizations are no longer deductible — that is, unless those donations exceed $25,000. Unless you are donating jet skis to Toys4Tots, you can forget about that deductible. And that's just plain wrong.

Giving goes to the heart of our American character, and tax deductions have been a useful incentive in promoting this. What happens when only those with big enough paychecks are left with such incentives? The strength of our national social fabric is attacked. To be sure, big donations are important, but smaller, grassroots donations — from families with incomes less than $100,000 — are what keep so many nonprofits from closing their doors. It's these donations that are the most vital to our American lifeblood. It's also these donations that Republican tax policy is now de-incentivizing.

Superficially, this is inconvenient for the Berkshire resident who, say, just made a donation to the Brien Center that will now go undeducated. Deeper down, it's unsettling to consider that this tax policy keeps an elite few incentivized, giving them philanthropic priority.

If spending money is a form of speech, look at whose social platform this enables. It's sad, and average Americans deserve better.

Nicholas Roszkowski,

Lenox

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