Hartford Courant: Connecticut Nonprofits Fear Tax Bill Could Lead To Decrease In Donations

Connecticut Nonprofits Fear Tax Bill Could Lead To Decrease In Donations

By Russell Blair | December 27, 2018

Already squeezed by the state’s persistent budget woes, nonprofits in Connecticut are bracing for a potential drop-off in donations due to changes in the sweeping tax bill that President Donald Trump signed into law last week.

With the doubling of the standard deduction, experts predict far fewer taxpayers will itemize their deductions. As a result, the number of people who can claim a charitable deduction is expected to sharply decline, which in turn may lead to a decrease in charitable giving.

“They’ve essentially eliminated for 90 percent of filers the ability to make deductions specifically for charitable contributions,” said Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance. “We know that people who itemize give to charities at about twice the rate of people who don’t.”

In 2015, Connecticut tax filers claimed $3.48 billion in total charitable deductions, according to Karla Fortunato, president of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. About 34 percent of taxpayers in the state — more than 608,000 filers — claimed charitable deductions, she said.

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