As efforts continue to avoid the "fiscal cliff," charities are fighting to keep the charitable deduction for donors, the ninth-largest tax expenditure in the federal budget.
Charities are vowing to fight any government action tooth and nail. A lobbying group has for the first time set up a website where people can send automatic, targeted letters to local lawmakers and the White House "to oppose any efforts" to limit the charitable deduction.
"We intend to go to our community -- whether you work on nuclear proliferation, or expanding arts in Harlem, or making sure dolphins continue to live and thrive, or making bicycle paths in middle America," said Diana Aviv, president of the Independent Sector, which lobbies Congress on behalf of charities and nonprofits. "Once we awaken that sleeping giant, it becomes a grass roots campaign of the magnitude that we haven't done so far."
The charitable deduction is the 9th largest tax expenditure on the federal budget, according to the Congressional Research Service. In 2014, the amount of revenue the government would forgo from those claiming charitable deductions is estimated to reach $52 billion.