About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release
Feb. 16, 2010

Statement by CASE President John Lippincott on President Barack Obama's FY 2011 Budget


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).


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.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.