Opera Lover gives $25 million to the Met
Alberto Vilar, Cuban born founder and president of the billion-dollar Amerindo Investment Advisors, donated $25 million to New York’s Metropolitan Opera– $20 million as an outright gift and $5 million as a challenge gift. A passionate fan of the opera (he proudly attends over 100 operas each year), Vilar has been very involved with the Met, sitting on the board of the institution. “I believe the Met is a unique institution. I believe it’s the best opera company in the world,” Vilar stated.
Source: Pensacola News Journal, October 4, 1998
The wealth is spreading
According the research firm PSI Global, 10,528 American households have a net worth of at least $50 million. There are tens of thousands of families with assets of $1 million or more. Therefore more careful gift and estate planning will continue to take on greater importance now and in future years.
Source: Forbes, October 12, 1998
California college receives $35 million
Saint Mary’s College in suburban San Francisco received a $35 million gift from an anonymous donor. The gift will be used to build a new science center and fund two new academic programs at the small, private liberal arts school. The building will be called the J.C. Gatehouse Hall–the initials were specified by the mystery donor.
Source: Philanthropy Journal Alert, October 9, 1998
Budget bill brings good news for private foundation donors
In mid-October Congress and the President settled on a budget bill which also establishes new rules for this year. While most of the proposed new tax breaks were dropped, one tax incentive that affects some donors did pass. The budget bill restores the fair market value deductibility for gifts of appreciated securities to some private foundations. This is welcome news because, as Give & Take reported in June and July of this year, the deduction for gifts of stock to private foundations expired on June 30, 1998, as a result of provisions in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. This development should lead to renewed interest among some wealthy persons in the creation of their own private foundations and may result in less interest in supporting organizations and other alternatives to private foundations that have gained in popularity with some donors and their advisors in recent years.
Source: The Kiplinger Tax Letter, Vol. 73, No. 21