PICKENS COUNTY – Officials of the Pickens County YMCA met with legislators in Washington, D.C. to discuss charitable deductions.
“The charitable deductions are a critical piece for all non-profits to operate successfully,” Sid Collins said, CEO of the Pickens County YMCA. “Studies show that seven out of 10 Americans believe that the charitable deductions should stay in place and should not be eliminated as a budget balancing mechanism.”
Collins said that it is clear that charitable deductions are a great investment for the government.
“Basically, instead of the government getting a portion of the donation to use at their own discretion, the community gets the entire impact of that donation,” Collins said. “For every thousand dollar gift that is given to a charitable organization, if you are in the highest income bracket, the government loses four hundred dollars because they can write that off.”
Collins said the option would be the government gets four hundred and the community gets a thousand, and there are very few programs where they can get two and a half times the return than a charitable deduction.
“We feel that eliminating the charitable deduction is a bad thing,” Collins said.
Charitable deductions are delivered to the Pickens County YMCA in a variety of methods.
“The Pickens County YMCA receives its charitable deductions in three ways,” Collins said. “One is our annual campaign that funds scholarships to those in need. The second one is capital gifts where someone donates to help improve our facilities and infrastructure, and then finally an endowment gift where money is put into reserve to bear interest.”
According to Collins, the removal of charitable deductions would harm the Pickens County YMCA directly.
“To us, there would be hundreds, if not thousands of families in our area that would lose critical programming like after school, summer camp, and swim lessons,” Collins said. “As a community, it would be a devastating impact for all of our charities whether it is the United Way or The Red Cross.”
Collins said that without the charitable deductions, the money that is used for community impact would lower and the societal issues that the YMCA is trying to resolve would get worse.
“Since 1917, the federal government has allowed charitable giving to be deducted from people’s income in order to impact the community directly,” Collins said. “With losing that option for all non-profits nationwide, we would see a lot of society’s problems that we are trying to impact get significantly worse.”
Collins said that Rep. Jeff Duncan opposes the removal of charitable deductions.