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AFP Co-Sponsors CARE Day Event on Capitol Hill

(Nov. 14, 2005) On Tuesday, Nov. 8, AFP participated in Congressional CARE Day to urge Congress to pass the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act before the end of this session.

AFP joined with 20 other charitable and nonprofit organizations in meeting with more than 60 Senate offices during the event. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) addressed the participants during a luncheon and thanked them for their efforts to raise the profile of the bill, S.1780.

Passage of the CARE Act would enable individuals 70-½ years old and older to make tax-free charitable distributions from their IRA accounts, and would spur enormous growth in food donations - perhaps as much as $2 billion more - from farmers, restaurants and corporations to help those in need. The legislation also will improve oversight of tax-exempt organizations by increasing transparency, accountability and credibility.

In addition to AFP, organizations participating in Congressional CARE day included the American Association of Museums, United Way of America, American Association of Christian Schools, Independent Sector, American Society of Appraisers, Young America's Foundation, AdvanceUSA, Association of Small Foundations, Americans for the Arts, The Heritage Foundation, National Committee on Planned Giving, Alliance for Charitable Reform, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, National Taxpayers Union, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Urban Family Council, Lutheran Services in America and the Appraisal Institute.

CARE Act Amendment to Tax Reconciliation Bill

The day after the CARE Day event, Sen. Santorum introduced an amendment to the tax reconciliation package currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee. The Santorum CARE Amendment contains provisions previously included in the CARE Act (S. 1780), which Sen. Santorum introduced in the Senate earlier this year. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) are working on this effort as well.

If agreed to, the Santorum CARE Amendment would:

  • Provide incentives for individuals to give tax-free contributions from their IRAs for charitable purposes, helping a wide range of charities and likely generating billions of dollars to help make higher education more accessible and affordable.
  • Provide the opportunity to deduct a portion of charitable contributions for the 83 million Americans who do not currently itemize on their tax forms. This group represents more than two-thirds of American tax filers and is estimated to contribute $36 billion to charities.
  • Provide incentives for an estimated $2 billion worth of food donations from farmers, restaurants, and corporations to help those in need. America's Second Harvest estimates that this is the equivalent of 878 million meals for hungry Americans over 10 years. This incentive is strongly supported by food banks, farm bureaus and hunger advocacy groups around the country.

A markup of the tax reconciliation bill is scheduled to occur this week, and AFP will keep members apprised of the situation.

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