Published: Jan 01, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Dec 29, 2012 04:44 PM
Nonprofits and cliff
The federal “fiscal cliff” poses a serious threat to our state’s nonprofit sector and the communities and people who depend on them. Contact your congressional representatives and ask them to work to prevent arbitrary spending cuts that will result if no agreement is reached. Urge them not to impose new caps on itemized deductions.
If Congress doesn’t act, more than $54 billion will arbitrarily be cut from federal programs. Demand for nonprofits’ services would continue to rise while federal funding would decrease – and this on top of declines in funding from individuals, foundations, corporations, and state and local governments.
The proposed cap on itemized deductions would essentially eliminate tax incentives for individuals to give to charitable nonprofits. Most people will deduct first the state/local taxes they’ve paid, and then their mortgage interest. With a cap on itemized deductions, it’s unlikely they’ll have any room left to deduct charitable contributions.
The charitable tax deduction is a unique aspect of Americans’ ability to support the causes they care about. Gutting it would pull the rug out from under those very organizations and causes that keep our communities glued together.Trisha Lester N.C. Center for NonprofitsNot Wild West
Regarding NRA’s proposition of emulating Israel with armed guards at all the schools, I would like us to remember that Israel is defending itself against hostile forces outside its borders. We have Mexico and Canada on our borders.
With the budget crisis in our laps should we consider adding an entire new layer of cost to either our schools or our police? Or shall we do like the Israelis do: draft all 18-year-olds for a stint in the army and place them as guards in public places?
Licensing and regulating guns such as we do for cars seems sensible to me: a written fact test; a practical test; a vision test; insurance; felony and other checks and regular review sounds great to me. And a ban on automatic weapons. We don’t need them for hunting or any non-military use.
As for defending ourselves, we have the armed forces and a well-regulated militia: the national guard. I don’t want to live in the wild west or Yemen.Janice Pinchot Woychik Chapel Hill Tax equity
For many years, people have groused about the tax system, not because they have to pay taxes, but because of their feeling that some persons and corporations are getting away with highway robbery by using clever tax dodges so they can pay no taxes at all.Hence this proposal: All individuals and corporations will be subject to a minimum tax of 10 percent on their gross incomes.
This would ensure that everyone is paying something toward the country's upkeep. For the ordinary wage earner, this tax would have no relevance since they already pay more than that in payroll taxes. This would only affect those with incomes high enough to hire tax lawyers to “game the system.”
Enforcement would bring about a feeling of more equity in the system and reassurance that all are paying something as a license to live and work in the greatest country in the world.James Gallagher Kenan Professor Emeritus, UNC
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