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AGRM Opposes White House Proposal to Limit Tax Incentive for Charitable Giving

Provision in jobs bill would make it harder to raise donations in the face of rising poverty

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sep. 20, 2011)—Gospel Rescue Missions across the country are hopeful that the White House will reverse its plan to cap the value of charitable donations at 28 percent as part of its new strategy to pay for the president’s American Jobs Act. This provision in the bill will not only limit the generosity of private donors who give to rescue missions, but it will also hamper the ability of rescue missions to raise private dollars that pay for badly needed services for the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted.

The vital programs and services of gospel rescue missions provide men and women with the skills they desperately need to become healthy, independent, and employable. Those services are just as important to their long-term success as obtaining good-paying jobs. The large majority of AGRM member missions rely solely on private donations, and any drop in charitable giving will be felt most by those on the path toward self-sufficiency and employment. Achieving these critical milestones is a part of what defines success for formerly homeless men and women each year.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported this week that the number of Americans living in poverty increased to 46.2 million in 2010 – or one in six people. The Administration should do everything it can to help meet the growing needs of the poor in our communities, but creating a disincentive for people to give money to rescue missions, churches, hospitals, and other nonprofits serving the poor is a step in the wrong direction. The deduction that taxpayers receive for making private donations to charities is unlike any other tax deduction because it is an incentive to give their income to others.

"We wholeheartedly support creating jobs that will help families escape poverty, but the president's proposal to take money from charities to pay for his jobs bill will reduce help for the poor and homeless,” said AGRM President John Ashmen. “Rescue missions and thousands of other nonprofits are on the front lines of the fight against rising poverty. The president and Congress should be encouraging more giving to charities that help the poor, not discouraging private donors."

AGRM urges the White House and Congress to avoid any provisions in legislation that would erode the value of the deduction for charitable giving. It is AGRM’s hope that the federal government will find new, innovative ways to create more jobs and strengthen its historic support for America’s unique generosity, which inspires more people to give to organizations and efforts that help the growing number of Americans struggling in poverty.
Founded in 1913, Colorado Springs-based AGRM is North America’s oldest and largest network of independent crisis shelters and rehabilitation centers, offering radical hospitality in the name of Jesus. Each year member rescue missions serve approximately 42 million meals, provide more than 15 million nights of lodging, bandage the emotional wounds of thousands of abuse victims, and graduate 18,000-plus individuals from addiction-recovery programs. For more information or to locate an AGRM member organization, see, or call (719) 266-8300.