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Arts Happenings: Field News

President Releases FY13 Budget, Urge Support for Arts Funding and Charitable Giving

Tuesday, February 14, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lynne Kingsley
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Washington, DC- Yesterday, President Obama released his FY13 federal budget proposal to Congress, which serves as a starting point for the Congressional appropriations process. The proposed budget addresses funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Arts in Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, and charitable giving incentives. The budget proposal includes the following:

  • National Endowment for the Arts- The President has requested $154.255 million, an $8 million increase. Last year, Congress cut NEA funding to the amount that the President had requested for FY12 - which meant a cut of $8.8 million to the NEA and a final appropriation of $146 million. The President's FY13 budget, however, nearly restores the decrease he recommended last year.

  • Arts in Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education - The President's budget again proposes consolidating the Arts in Education program into a broader fund for Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education. Communities representing a wide array of subjects of learning that would be consolidated are in opposition to the proposal, as it would eliminate the ability to track funding for each subject and would diminish federal leadership in these essential subjects of learning.

  • Charitable Giving Incentives- The President's budget plan once again proposes capping deductions, including the charitable deduction, at 28% for individual taxpayers earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000. Congress has previously rejected these proposals and key tax policymakers have objected to the negative impact the proposal would have on charitable contributions. The President also proposes to enact what is known as the "Buffett Rule," which would apply a minimum 30% tax rate for those with adjusted gross incomes over $1 million, while protecting charitable giving. While the protections for charitable giving incentives are animportant recognition of the unique value of charitable deductions, the President's proposal to cap deductibility at 28% has met strong opposition in the nonprofit community.

As Congress turns its attention to FY13 funding, your continued advocacy for federal funding and charitable giving is vital as Congress works to make budgetary choices in this difficult economic time. The arts community must raise its voice and stress the public value of federal support for the arts. The arts are cornerstones of economically-strong communities nationwide and contribute to community progress, growth, and improved quality of life. Federal policy and funding support should continue to recognize and reflect that.

The Performing Arts Alliance makes it easy for you to contact your members of Congress and urge support for the following:

When you click on the links above, you will see sample letters for you to personalize. Be sure to include information about you and your organization and tell your members of Congress about the programs that would be at risk and the people you would not be able to serve if NEA funding, Arts in Education funding, and the charitable deduction were reduced or lost.

It is important that we urge Congress to invest in the arts. AATE thanks you for taking action - your voice makes a difference!

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