director of communications
For Immediate Release
Feb. 16, 2010
President Obama's budget includes a permanent extension of the estate tax at its 2009 levels ($3.5 million exemption, 45 percent tax rate) and a 28 percent cap on the value of itemized deductions, including the charitable deduction, for taxpayers earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples). Currently, these taxpayers can take itemized deductions at a rate equal to their tax bracket (33 percent or 35 percent).
STATEMENT OF CASE PRESIDENT JOHN LIPPINCOTT:
A number of proposals in President Obama's FY2011 budget will greatly benefit students and educational institutions, including a permanent extension of the estate tax at its 2009 levels. Colleges, universities and independent schools receive a large number of charitable gifts through bequests. Full repeal of the estate tax would significantly reduce giving through bequests, reducing funds for scholarships, research and other priorities at our institutions. We urge lawmakers to quickly pass a retroactive, permanent extension of the estate tax at its 2009 levels.
However, we are concerned that the president continues to support a cap on the value of charitable deductions. If enacted, the president's proposal would effectively increase the cost of giving for the segment of the population that gives—and can afford to give—the most to educational institutions. This would translate into reduced funding for scholarships, teaching, research and other educational programs vital to helping colleges, universities and independent schools achieve their missions.
The charitable deduction cap would be enacted at a time when educational institutions are still dealing with financial challenges stemming from the economic downturn. A recent survey by the Council for Aid to Education found that charitable contributions to colleges and universities fell by 11.9 percent in 2009. A charitable deduction cap would hinder institutions' efforts to rebuild this private support, to the detriment of their students, faculty, staff and communities.
We need to encourage all individuals, regardless of income and wealth, to give to educational institutions and other charitable organizations. Capping the value of the charitable deduction does the exact opposite and would fundamentally change a tax structure that has contributed to a cherished tradition of charitable giving unmatched in the world. CASE urges lawmakers to protect the value of the charitable deduction, and we look forward to working with the president and Congress to identify additional ways to encourage increased charitable giving among all individuals.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.
CASE was founded in 1974 and maintains headquarters in Washington, D.C., with offices in London (CASE Europe, 1994), Singapore (CASE Asia-Pacific, 2007) and Mexico City (CASE América Latina, 2011).
Today, CASE’s membership includes more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves more than 74,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of its member institutions and has more than 17,000 professional members on its roster.
To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on—and therefore must foster—the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies.
CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern while promoting the importance of education worldwide.