Guest column: GOP tax bills harm charities, donors, society

first_imgRELATED: House Republicans consider adding some state income tax deductions to overhaul billAs widely reported in the press, the proposed tax “reforms” would essentially double the standard deduction thereby eliminating individual deductions by the vast majority of individuals, particularly including charitable donations.This will profoundly impact all nonprofits in the U.S. likely resulting in loss of billions of dollars of critical funding.This will threaten the survival of many fragile nonprofits and damage the safety net which is largely made up of nonprofits, particularly given government’s devolution of services to local communities.My interests here are first, as father of a permanently disabled daughter named Jennifer, and also as member of the Eastern New York Developmental Disabilities Advocates (ENYDDA). ENYDDA is an independent, all-volunteer organization founded in 2015 to advocate for disabled family members and educate the public on matters pertaining to the developmentally disabled. I am gravely concerned, along with many other parents, with the legislation’s impacts on all nonprofits, particularly including human service providers not only in this area but across the nation. While consulting with a tax professional is always recommended, donors can accelerate or expand their regular contributions or make major donations to the charity of their choice, in this tax year, before Dec. 31, 2017, before any changes in the tax law can take effect.Secondly, given the dramatic rise in the stock market, an opportunity to discuss with a tax advisor is to donate appreciated securities.This not only allows the deduction on the appreciated value but avoids or minimizes capital gains taxes which can be substantial.Such actions may make particular sense to maximize benefit to your favorite charity now– and lock in the tax savings before the next major stock market decline.While these steps can hardly compensate for the substantial damage to charities, donors and society the GOP legislation inflicts, they at least provide some incremental benefit to charities and donors alike, and in the process all communities which depend so heavily on the nonprofit sector and the services it so critically provides.Christopher Corbett is a nonprofit researcher and author of “Accountability and Ethics in Nonprofit Organizations” in the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance (2017, Springer International). The views expressed are the author’s alone. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Sure, the government and for-profit sectors are important. But it is the nonprofit sector that is largely responsible for America’s exceptionalism.That is, charities and nonprofits fill in many of the gaps and fulfill roles that neither government, nor for profits, are remotely capable of performing, particularly relating to critical health and human services.As noted by de Tocqueville, such institutions are responsible for our country’s most unique character.Under a substantially increased standard deduction, the vast majority of citizens will no longer be able to deduct charitable donations as they would not likely exceed the dramatically higher standard deduction.Yet nonprofit organizations are responsible for the very fabric of a civilized society and are an essential byproduct of our country’s longstanding freedom of association.Given the timing and partisan back-room dealing, there may be limited actions that can be taken at this point.However, there are steps donors can immediately take to reduce the risks of the new legislation.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionAfter reading Albert H. Hunt’s column in The Daily Gazette “Republicans’ haste leading to flawed tax legislation”, (Nov.  30, 2017), my reaction is the column substantially understates the damaging implications of this partisan legislation proposed under President Trump’s administration.The column fails to mention the great harm to charities and the whole nonprofit sector.last_img read more

140 Ruby Princess crew members test positive for COVID-19

first_imgThe ship is subject of an investigation by the NSW Police as it is believed to have become Australia’s biggest source of COVID-19 infections. It is linked to hundreds of confirmed coronavirus cases and a number of deaths. In NSW, 369 passengers who were on the Ruby Princess have tested positive and there have been 8 deaths associated with the ship. In addition, there are 12 Ruby Princess crew members with COVID-19 in health facilities in NSW. The vessel has a total of 1,040 crew members on board. A total of 140 crew members of the cruise ship Ruby Princess, which is still docked in Australian waters, have tested positive for COVID-19. In response to the recent order from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Princess Cruises, operator of Ruby Princess, canceled all voyages through June 30, 2020. The company also canceled all Princess Alaska Gulf cruise and cruise tours. center_img “This global outbreak continues to challenge our world in unimaginable ways. We recognize how disappointing this is to our long-term business partners and thousands of employees, many of whom have been with us in Alaska for decades,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. The figure is being revealed after 13 more crew members tested positive to the virus in the latest round of testing, data from the New South Wales Ministry of Health (NSW Health) shows. “We hope everyone impacted by these cancellations – especially our guests, travel advisor partners, teammates, and the communities we visit – understand our decision to do our part to protect the safety.”last_img read more