Taking a stab at “death” taxes
If Republicans have their way this year, estate and gift taxes will be cut. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and others in Congress maintain that these taxes are not only detrimental to family farms and other businesses, they also provide very little to the public treasury. Only approximately 2% of the nation’s total tax revenue each year comes from estate and gift taxes. However, the Clinton administration will most likely oppose these tax cuts because, in their view, this position ignores the intended role of the gift and estate tax in breaking up large concentrations of wealth and only a few very rich people would benefit from the proposed cuts.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, December 17, 1997
Can the United Way change L.A.?
Los Angeles is among the nation’s least charitable cities. According to a recent survey of American giving patterns, Los Angeles ranked 48th out of 50 large communities. But the local United Way is trying to change the city’s level of generosity through new ad campaigns that make fun of the stereotypical Southern California lifestyle. One billboard reads, “You’re an actor. Act like you care.” Another sign says, “What this town needs are compassion implants.” Todd Rosin, spokesperson for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, said, “We’re trying to make people realize there are some things they can consider cutting out. The price of one nonfat double latte could buy a toddler milk for a month.”
Source: The Commercial Appeal, November 30, 1997
Checking up before writing checks
One Web site allows donors to check out how a charitable organization spends its money before they write a check. Guide-star’s Web site, www.guidestar.org, lists financial data on 40,000 charities. The site also permits visitors to search for charities with specific missions. The National Charities Information Bureau in their “Wise Giving Guide” also rates some of the largest charities. For more information on how to receive a copy, call (212) 929-6300 or see the NCIB Web site at www.give.org.
Source: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Adviser, December 1997
Stamp honors philanthropy
On December 15, 1997, an official United States postage stamp celebrating philanthropy was unveiled in Washington, D.C. The stamp carries the inscription “Giving and Sharing: an American Tradition” and depicts a bee pollinating a flower, which symbolizes the fundamental give and take relationship of all philanthropic acts. Milton Murray, chairperson of the Philanthropy Stamp Task Force, has worked for nearly 20 years on the issuance of this commemorative postage stamp. Others who were champions of this stamp include the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel (AAFRC), the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), INDEPENDENT SECTOR (IS), the National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC), the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG), and the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE). The philanthropy stamp is expected to be available in the fall of 1998.
Source: NSFRE Press Release