WASHINGTON -- Two national Jewish organizations criticized a provision in the Obama administration's federal budget proposal that would reduce the tax deductibility rate of charitable donations.
The president's proposal would force taxpayers earning more than $250,000 to deduct contributions to charities at a rate of 28 percent rather than the current rate of 35 percent.
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and The Jewish Federations of North America both released statements Monday objecting to the proposal.
"Despite the fact that the White House had recently indicated that its tax reform proposals would not disincentivize large charitable gifts, today's Budget release is disappointing for America's charities and the millions we support, particularly during this time of economic distress," said William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of JFNA, in a statement.
JFNA noted last week that the Obama administration emphasized in its "Blueprint for an America Built to Last" that it would maintain the deductibility rate of charitable contributions.
According to the Orthodox Union statement, the decision to change the rate to 28 percent could reduce donations to American charities by $4 billion annually.
Nathan Diament, executive director of public policy for the Orthodox Union, indicated in a statement that the Orthodox Union was "deeply concerned over President Obama's budget proposal" and that the proposal "is a recipe for harmful displacements and cuts in much-needed non-profit sector institutions and services."
"The tax deductibility of charitable contributions is, apart from a person's generosity of spirit, the most powerful tool America's charities possess to raise funds that enable them to serve their brothers and sisters," Diament said. "We are disappointed that despite the across-the-board protests this proposal has received from the charitable sector in past years, the President puts forward this harmful proposal yet again."