Efforts in Congress to overhaul the tax system are moving quickly. The full House approved its tax reform package (H.R.1) two weeks ago, and the Senate is working on its companion proposal now. The full Senate is expected to vote on its bill this week.
At the moment, Habitat’s main concern regarding tax reform is the value of the charitable giving deduction and low-income and first-time homeownership incentives being undermined.
Both the Senate and House bills double the standard deduction, which would likely result in 6% or fewer of all taxpayers itemizing deductions in their returns, meaning as many as 94% of taxpayers will no longer have access to incentives encouraging charitable giving and first-time homeownership. A recent study suggests the potential impact on charitable giving could be as high as $13 billion per year and home values could fall by as much as 10 percent or more. The combined results could be devastating to local communities around the country.
Both the Senate and House bills remain a source of concern regarding the impact of doubling of the standard deduction.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Before the Senate votes on its tax bill this week, Habitat for Humanity urges you to voice your support for the Lankford amendment, introduced by Senator Lankford (R-OK). This would create “universal” charitable deduction, making the deduction available both to donors who take the standard deduction and to those who itemize. Sen Lankford has proposed this as an amendment to the tax reform bill. A strong showing of support will encourage members to vote for the amendment.
To mitigate unintended negative consequences of doubling the standard deduction, the universal charitable deduction would make the charitable deduction available to all taxpayers whether or not they itemize.
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Thank you for supporting Habitat for Humanity’s advocacy efforts – it’s making a difference and we need you to keep it up!
Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, MO