In The News... | Sharpe Group
Posted May 1st, 1998

In The News…

Happy Birthday, new planned giving prospects

According to data compiled by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), over 2 million Americans turned 65 in 1996. The total number of people age 65 years or older was 33.9 million, or 12.8% of the U.S. population. The AARP study also found that older age groups are growing even older. Compared to data from 1900, the 65-74 age group was 8 times larger in 1996, the 75-84 group grew 16 times larger, and the 85 and over segment was a whopping 31 times larger. This is certainly good news for gift planners because the best major gift prospects generally come from these age groups.

Source: “A Profile of Older Americans: 1997,” a publication of AARP

Public wary of abolishing tax code

According to a confidential poll conducted by the Republican National Committee, the majority of voters do not support a Republican proposal to terminate the income tax code by December 31, 2001. While the public is clearly unhappy with the current tax system, the poll indicates that voters are listening to the Democratic party argument that abolishing the tax code without establishing a definite replacement for it could lead to serious economic consequences.

The Tax Code Termination Act states, “No tax shall be imposed by the Internal Revenue Code…for any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2001.” Other specific issues that have divided the Republicans thus far, such as whether to retain the charitable contribution deduction or support a flat income tax system, are not addressed in the bill.

Source: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN,
March 22, 1998

Tax breaks prompt some to give more

While the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 provided capital gains tax breaks for many investors, some feel that the new tax law unfairly benefited them. As a result, 80 wealthy people formed a group called Responsible WealthÑtheir goal being to donate the proceeds from their capital gains tax cuts to various charitable causes.

Mike Lapham, project director for the group, said, “As beneficiaries of numerous policies that are tilted in our favor, we felt a responsibility to take action to create a more fair system.” So far the group has pledged at least $628,000 to charitable causes, such as a campaign to promote more fair tax policies.
Lapham announced the group’s formation at a press conference where the Citizens for Tax Justice released a new report indicating that 81% of the capital gains tax cut by the 1997 tax act will benefit the wealthiest 5% of Americans.

Source: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN,
April 5, 1998

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