Advocacy Alert: Nov. 15

Tax Reform Bills Moving Fast; What You Can Do Today

Both chambers of Congress are acting on comprehensive tax reform legislation this week, with the U.S. House of Representatives poised to vote on its bill tomorrow and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee debating its version throughout the week. While these proposals continue to evolve, the Alliance has been tracking their progress and has prepared a side-by-side comparison of some issues that could impact museums.

Ask Your Representative TODAY to Vote NO on H.R. 1

While the House bill (H.R. 1) preserves the charitable deduction, it makes other changes to the tax code that would effectively eliminate this tax incentive to donate for 30 million Americans. Research released today by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center predicts that this bill would reduce charitable giving between $12 billion and $20 billion per year. H.R. 1 also significantly weakens longstanding protections for nonprofit nonpartisanship, which the Alliance and many museums have spoken out to defend.

"Charitable giving is critical to museums' ability to educate their community, spark curiosity, and preserve treasured collections. Disturbingly, this legislation would divert billions of dollars every year away from the vital work of museums and other nonprofits," said Alliance President and CEO Laura Lott. "The House of Representatives should go back to the drawing board until it has written legislation that protects and expands this key lifeline for America's museums."

The House is expected to vote tomorrow, so please take 2 minutes to call your Representative today: 

  1. Use the Alliance's tools to look up your U.S. Representative
  2. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Representative's office.
  3. Urge your Representative to oppose H.R. 1 because it would hurt charitable giving.

You could say something like:

"Hi, I'm a constituent calling from [your city]. I'd like to urge the Representative to vote against H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, because it would cause charitable donations to decline by billions of dollars every year. We need a universal charitable deduction, so that every taxpayer is encouraged to support museums and other charities--regardless of whether they itemize their tax return."

If you have a relationship with particular congressional staff--either from attending Museums Advocacy Day or from other year-round advocacy--it is even more powerful to reach out to them directly.

Thank you for speaking up for museums. See the Alliance's issue brief on charitable giving for more information, and please don't hesitate to contact us with questions.