November 29, 2017

To the New York Congressional Delegation:

As a coalition of major nonprofits in New York, who together benefit and improve the lives of millions of New Yorkers, we are writing to express our deep concern about the impact several provisions of the tax bills currently under consideration could have on those we serve.

Our organizations work in the areas of health, culture, education, the arts and human services. We employ hundreds of thousands of people and provide services through a combination of public and private dollars.

We are concerned that the interaction of several provisions in the bill will lead to a decline in charitable giving, thus penalizing organizations with structures such as ours and endangering our ability to continue our work in the community. While we rightly highlight the potential negative provisions in the bill that could impact charitable organizations, we urge you to pay particular attention to the impacts on the poor and most vulnerable; including the potential for increased income taxes on the working poor and the elimination of personal exemptions for larger families.

Specifically:

•     Increasing the standardized deduction, and thus, drastically reducing the number of Americans who can deduct charitable contributions from their taxes, will lead to a decrease in charitable giving.

•      Weakening the current absolute prohibition on political campaign intervention will compromise the integrity of America¹s charities.

•       Repeal of private activity bonds will unnecessarily raise the cost of capital for charities that seek to build new facilities to provide essential services for their communities.

•       Repeal or significant limitation of the medical expense deduction will adversely affect portions of the community who are already at risk such as seniors and the disabled.

•       Removal of state and local tax exemption creates double taxations for residents of states with high state and local taxes, and therefore may well result in a decline in charitable giving.

•       Imposition of an excise tax on excess endowment assets of certain institutions is an ill-advised penalty on endowed giving in general and will weaken the financial health of the targeted institutions.

Most importantly, given the sweeping and broad changes proposed in this legislation, and the dramatic impact to our communities, we are concerned that legislation of this complexity and reach is proceeding without regular order. We appeal to you to further reflect on the impact of each provision on all stakeholders and schedule appropriate bi-partisan hearings so that this legislation may be publicly reviewed and considered by experts from all perspectives.

Very truly yours,

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York

Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

Greater New York Hospital Association

The Actors Fund

UJA-Federation of New York