Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT) introduced the Preserve the Charitable Contribution Deduction Act today which would help affirm our nation’s commitment to protecting charitable giving.

Since 1917, Congress has seen the value of incentivizing charitable giving through our tax code.  Diverse organizations such as hospitals, veterans’ organizations, religious institutions, universities, disaster relief services, museums and parks rely heavily on private donations. Proposals to limit charitable deductions have consistently been met with broad bi-partisan opposition because Americans appreciate the great significance of the philanthropic sector.  Non-profits and charities are the country’s first safety net and can play a critical role in lessening the load on financially-strapped government programs.  

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Non-profit and charitable organizations are deeply engrained in our social fiber. Looking out for our fellow man is part of the American way of life. Americans recognize the importance of the philanthropic sector. And in trying economic times, the importance of non-profits and charities only grows.  We should make clear that the deduction for charitable giving is a critical part of our tax code.”

Congressman Matheson: “The charitable deduction should be protected in order to maintain the important work that charities are undertaking across the country. Especially during this time of economic recovery, charities are providing a vital safety net. It is critical that we encourage and provide people with every opportunity to give back.”

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, 80 percent of Americans who itemize their deductions contribute to charity. Last year, the top three percent of taxpayers gave about 45 percent of the $180 billion in deductible charitable contributions.  Charitable deductions should be exempted from the Pease limits to emphasize their importance.  America is the global leader in giving – contributing more to charity than any other nation.  By excluding charitable deductions from the Pease rule, we affirm our country’s rich tradition of giving and reinforce our commitment to charity.