Charitable Tax Incentives to Help Nonprofits Running on Empty

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February 3, 2011; Source: Salt Lake Tribune | A new report from the Community Foundation of Utah says charitable organizations are running on empty, strained from the loss of donations and drained by the needs of communities reeling from a down economy, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Fraser Nelson, the foundation’s executive director, delivered the report to the Joint Social Services Appropriation subcommittee Thursday asking them to create tax incentives for people or corporations that donate to nonprofits or risk not being able to keep up with the demands of their communities.

Of the 5,000 registered public charities in Utah, 42 percent of the agencies surveyed started the year with three months or less of operating capital on hand, and 27 percent ran a deficit in 2010, according to the report.

But the subcommittee leadership was not convinced.

“It’s great in concept,” said Rep. David Clark, a Santa Clara Republican who is co-chairman of the subcommittee. “But the timing is wrong.”

Clark argued that taking tax money out of the public coffers was a nonstarter, at a time when lawmakers are already considering across the board cuts in state government, including social services.—Aaron Lester