Posted on February 13, 2012 In Press Releases

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, objected to one aspect of President Obama’s federal budget proposal, released today, which, the Orthodox Union says, will harm charities across the American landscape.

The President proposes that taxpayers earning more than $250,000 (for a married couple; $200,000 for an individual tax filer) will have their ability to deduct contributions to charities reduced from a rate of 35% to a rate of 28%. (Thus, for example, a person making a $10,000 contribution to a charity would, under the Obama proposal, receive a tax deduction of $2800, as opposed to $3500.)  Experts have estimated that such a change in the tax law could reduce donations to American charities by approximately $4 billion annually.

Nathan Diament, executive director of public policy for the Orthodox Union, issued the following statement:

The Orthodox Union, like so many in America’s nonprofit sector, is deeply concerned over President Obama’s budget proposal to reduce the rate of deductibility for charitable contributions. The tax deductibility of charitable contributions is, apart from a person’s generosity of spirit, the most powerful tool America’s charities possess to raise funds that enable them to serve their brothers and sisters.

Even in good economic times, a proposal such as the one put forth in the President’s budget would adversely affect America’s charities. In these distressed times, in which charities are serving more people’s needs while at the same time continuing to suffer a downturn in donations, the proposal to reduce the rate of tax deductibility for contributions is a recipe for harmful displacements and cuts in much-needed non-profit sector institutions and services.

We are disappointed that despite the across-the-board protests this proposal has received from the charitable sector in past years, the President puts forward this harmful proposal yet again.  We intend, therefore, to work again with our partners across the nonprofit sector and in Congress to ensure that charities are not harmed in next year’s federal budget.