October 4, 2010; Source: Art Info | Many museums, impacted by the recession, have slashed their acquisition budgets so making it making the tax code more favorable for artists who wish to donate their work would make good sense. Until 1969, artists were able to declare contributions of their works to museums at full market value in order to take a tax deduction. Then congress enacted a law that limited the value of those donations to the value of the materials used in their production . . . ridiculous! Donations from artists to museums plummeted as a result—for instance in the three years before the law was enacted the Museum of Modern Art Received more than 300 donations, but in the next three years it received only 28. Now 23 senators and 90 members of the House of Representatives are backing a bill put forward by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to restore the full valuation of contributed artwork for purposes of tax deductions, a consideration, by the way, that is already provided to art collectors. This is way overdue and we will keep you apprised!—Ruth McCambridge
About The Author
Ruth is Editor in Chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly. Her background includes forty-five years of experience in nonprofits, primarily in organizations that mix grassroots community work with policy change. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ruth spent a decade at the Boston Foundation, developing and implementing capacity building programs and advocating for grantmaking attention to constituent involvement.