PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon charities worry that a change in federal tax law will cut the amount they get in yearend contributions.
Under the new tax law pushed by President Trump, the standard deduction used to lower a person's taxable income doubled.
A single person can now deduct $12,000 off the top and a married couple $24,000.
That will lower their taxable income.
But its potentially very bad news for charities.
The Tax Policy Center estimates 21-million people nationwide who used to use charitable giving to lower that taxable income will no longer qualify for that deduction.
That could take as much as $15-billion dollars out of nonprofits nationwide.
And it could hit hard in Oregon said Keith Thomajan, CEO of United Way of the Columbia Willamette.
“If we play that out in just Oregon or Washington, Oregon alone, a five percent drop? That’s $130-million dollars that goes away to our best nonprofits in this state,” he said.
He hopes donors still give arguing the money works on some of the hardest social problems in the state.
“All of them have nonprofits at the center of the work that's really improving lives and tax reform potentially makes it harder for our nonprofits to be part of the solutions we want to see,” said Thomajan.
He'd be happy to meet Kathy Tucker who doesn’t know much about the tax change and doesn't care when it comes to donations.
“I think I’ll still usually make my donations. Because I believe in the organizations I donate to,” she said.
Ken Fell agrees.
“Whether we get a tax deduction or not – we're trying to be good people,” he said.
Charities that rely on direct financial donations are the most vulnerable.
Others, like Goodwill, expect little if any hit.
“We believe it’s going to be just fine. Our donations are not down. They're doing just fine,” said spokeswoman Dale Emanuel.
The nonprofit is a bit different since it gets few cash donations but lots of stuff that can be resold.
“It helps people. We still buy things here. I mean it’s helpful,” said Kim Poppe as she dropped off donations.
The Nonprofit Association of Oregon reports that so far, the associations they represent have not seen a significant drop.
“We’re hearing from nonprofits anecdotally that they are seeing charitable giving at the same if not at slightly higher levels than last year,” Lilisa Hall said.