Posted: March 28, 2017

A New Poll Shows Taxpayers, including Oregonians, want to expand the Charitable Deduction

NAO is a strong believer in the phrase coined by Oregon’s own Senator Ron Wyden that “the charitable deduction is a lifeline, not a loop hole.”

A new poll commissioned by Independent Sector (IS) and conducted by TargetPoint, surveyed 800 registered voters between March 6 and March 8, 2017. The survey included voters from Oregon.

Across all parties voters support expanding the charitable tax deduction

Source: Independent Sector/TargetPoint Consulting

While the current deduction is only available to taxpayers who itemize their returns, three-quarters of those surveyed are in favor of expanding the charitable deduction to taxpayers who do not itemize their taxes. Support for expanding the charitable deduction broke down this way:

  • 78 percent of those who voted for Hillary Clinton in November’s presidential election approved of expanding the deduction.
  • 75 percent of those who voted for President Donald Trump approved of expanding the deduction.
  • 24 percent of those surveyed voted for neither candidate, did not vote, or chose not to answer.

Jeffery Moore, Director, Public Policy Strategy and Operations at IS noted that it is rare that three-quarters of the voting public agrees on any sort of policy question.

Strong support to expand the charitable tax deduction

Source: Independent Sector/TargetPoint Consulting

Oregon was included in the “Blue State” category of the poll which shows that support jumps to 78 percent across Blue States.

Tax reform is a stated priority for the Trump administration and Congress. The goal of IS, NAO and colleague agencies is to have the administration and representatives prioritize charitable giving in the next tax code.

IS has previously commissioned similar polls, such as one in early 2016 that revealed that 88 percent of the 1,300 voters surveyed were in favor of making it easier for individuals to deduct charitable contributions from their taxes.

2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the charitable deduction and it’s time to unlock its full potential for the charitable sector and the communities we serve. Wouldn’t it be great if every Oregonian and every American had an incentive to engage in charitable giving by a federal tax code that extends the charitable deduction to all taxpayers, regardless of their itemizer status?

NAO was happy to confirm that there are no current plans in the Oregon legislative session that cap or curtail the charitable deduction. One bill – SB600 – sponsored by Senator Tim Knopp (R – District 27) creates a personal income tax credit. Apparently 78% of Americans (and Oregonians) agree that the deduction should be expanded. We will continue to work with national organizations like IS to expand the charitable deduction for all and encourage our local lawmakers to support that expansion at the state level.