Local nonprofits speak out against tax reform bill

The bill would take away a tax benefit for donating to charities.

BOISE - In a letter to both of Idaho's congressmen, dozens of charities and other nonprofits urged them to vote "no" on the tax bill.

They say they stand to lose a significant amount of funding.

Under HR1, doubling the standard deduction would mean the first $12,000 earned by an individual and the first $24,000 earned by a married couple will be tax free.

While this could mean many Idahoans would be able to keep more money in their wallets, nonprofits believe this is where they stand to lose.

"Because the increase in the standard deduction means unless you give more to the charity than the amount of that increase, you don't get any tax benefit for it," says Tom Mannschreck, a chair member of Northwest Integrity Housing.

In other words, Mannschreck says it's less of an incentive for people to donate.

"I think it does have a very chilling effect on individuals and companies in their ability to give to nonprofits whether it's a mission-based nonprofit, or faith, whatever it happens to be," says Mannschreck.

Funding from private donors makes up 92 percent of the revenues for the Idaho Foodbank, a percentage CEO Karen Vauk thinks will significantly drop off.

"There are many people that would continue to give whether there is a tax deduction or not, but to what level? And for those who benefit from a tax deduction today and they wouldn't going forward, would that influence their decision to make that decision, of course that's a concern for nonprofits," says Vauk.

Currently there are more than 200,000 Idahoans who rely on the Idaho Foodbank for services.

Vauk is hopeful that upcoming discussions between the House and Senate may offer a solution to this potential problem.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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