Donations: Change in tax laws should not affect charity

Tax reform signed into law by President Donald Trump just before Christmas may be detrimental to many charitable organizations, some analysts say. It should not make a bit of difference in how we Americans respond to need.

Some of those who make contributions to recognized charities, may be using them as a deduction to lessen their income tax bill. There had been some concern Congress would eliminate that deduction, which costs the Treasury an estimated $41.5 billion a year.

But the new law keeps the charitable giving deduction in place.

So what’s the problem?

Some analysts worry tax relief granted to most Americans may prompt some to forego charitable giving because, in essence, they don’t need the deduction to reduce their tax bills. For those using the new $24,000 standard deduction for married couples, there is no reason to resort to any itemized deductions.

Some people may reduce charitable giving because it no longer helps them. Or so say some commentators.

No doubt that will happen in some situations. But concluding it will be a major problem assumes most charitable giving is not out of a motive to help worthy causes, but for purely selfish reasons.

Americans — certainly those of us here in the Mid-Ohio Valley — are better than that. We know the overwhelming majority of charitable giving is out of the goodness of donors’ hearts, not merely to save them money at tax time.

Meanwhile, if you know of a need and can help fill it, please do by making a donation to a worthy cause — as soon as possible.