Charitable giving tax break could be cut, scaled down - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Charitable giving tax break could be cut, scaled down

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

As Congress continues to debate the best way to handle the fast-approaching fiscal cliff, non profits around the country are keeping a close eye on the situation.

As executive director of A Child's Place, Annabelle Suddreth works to erase the impact of homelessness on nearly 5,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg students. That takes a lot of people...and a lot of money.

"The fiscal cliff is definitely on our radar," said Suddreth.

Tax deductions for charitable giving are on the chopping block as Democrats and Republicans argue over Bush-era tax breaks set to expire in just one month. One proposal would reduce the amount of charitable giving Americans can claim by seven percent. Non profits worry that could discourage their biggest contributors. At A Child's Place, 75% of its charitable contributions comes from just 15% of its donors.

"We believe their motivation for giving to A Child's Place is because they genuinely want to give. I'm not so naive to think though, that these tax changes might not indeed affect what they're able to do in the future," said Suddreth.

"The whole thing shouldn't be about getting a tax break," said Charlotte resident Michael Brown. "It should be that I give because there's a need."

A Gallup poll last year showed almost 70 percent of Americans would like to keep charitable giving tax breaks just as they are. Brown is part of that majority, even though he says he'll keep giving if tax breaks expire.

"I like the idea of the tax break. It's a little something extra back in the envelope," said Brown.

Regardless of how the tax breaks shake out, Brown wants to see Congress come to an agreement before the country goes over the fiscal cliff.

"The sooner they have something in place, the easier it will be for everyone," he said.

Now, non profits around the country watch and wait, hoping Americans will continue to give.

"We're bracing for maybe less giving by everybody, but hoping nobody stops giving," said Suddreth.

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