10 March 2017

ACR News 3.10.17 – Skinny Budget, Charity Legislation Expected Soon

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: Presidential Address
>> Federal: Skinny Budget
>> Federal: Charitable Legislation Update
>> Federal: ACR Summit for Leaders
>> Consider This: The Road Map
>> Top Reads: No change to mortgage interest deduction in Trump tax plan: Mnuchin

Washington Roundup

This week, House Republican leadership released its healthcare reform plan, which would repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act including several tax provisions. On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing to markup the legislation and passed it out of committee early Thursday morning. While not all Congressional Republicans are enthusiastic about the plan, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said it will pass the House in the next two or three weeks. That remains to be seen. As you know, the longer healthcare reform takes, the longer we wait for tax reform.

Administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, have said recently they expect healthcare reform and tax reform to be done by Labor Day. However, Republicans have yet to release any legislative text that would overhaul the tax code, likely because of the blowback the House GOP is getting around its border adjustability proposal. Additionally, feedback from the Senate indicates there will have to be compromises made because they won’t just rubberstamp whatever the House sends over. Recall that Secretary Mnuchin has previously said he plans to maintain the charitable deduction in tax reform, but he has not addressed whether the incentive will be modified or expanded.

Presidential Address 

On February 28, President Donald Trump delivered an address to a joint session of Congress, discussing his accomplishments in his first 40 days in office and his goals for the next weeks and months. He listed executive orders he has signed, the jobs that have been created or saved, and the increased stock market value as examples of keeping promises he made during the election. He also outlined next steps for his administration, which include reenergizing the economy through tax reform, creating a more efficient and affordable healthcare system for all Americans and expanding school choice for disadvantaged youth. The President did not get into policy details, but we expect more of those when he releases his much-awaited tax plan this month.

Skinny Budget 

Every year, the President sends a budget proposal to Congress that outlines spending and revenue priorities for the administration. A typical budget proposal is a good indicator of how a president would approach tax reform. However, this year, the White House is telling Americans to expect a “skinny budget”– one that is short on details and might not contain tax priorities at all – sometime this month. When the President does release his iteration of a budget proposal, we will evaluate it for any impact it could have on the charitable sector.

Charitable Legislation 

We expect a few pieces of tax legislation impacting the sector to be introduced in the next few weeks. The Private Foundation Excise Tax Simplification Act, which streamlines the PF excise tax to a flat 1 percent, is expected to be reintroduced by Ways and Means member Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN); and the CHARITY Act is expected to be introduced by Senate Finance members John Thune (R-SD) and Robert Casey (D-PA). The CHARITY Act would also streamline the PF excise tax to 1 percent, would expand the IRA charitable rollover to include distributions to donor-advised funds, and would include a Sense of the Senate that the full scope and value of the charitable deduction is to be maintained during tax reform, among other provisions.

ACR Summit for Leaders 
We have updated our agenda for the 2017 ACR Summit for Leaders! Please click here to see the updated agenda as well as registration information. Attendance at the ACR Summit is free of charge. The ACR Summit for Leaders is part of Foundations on the Hill. Programming features leaders in philanthropy, policy experts, and congressional staff.

The date, time and location of the ACR Summit is below.

March 21, 2017
8:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Continental breakfast to be served at 7:45 a.m.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Consider This – Roadmap

After a few years where accomplishments in Washington seemed few and far between, DC is facing the real possibility that big things might happen. You might like those things. You might hate them. But the ball is moving forward on many fronts – like healthcare; and trade; and taxes.

We’ve always urged you to be involved and make sure your members of Congress know what you think and how important things like the charitable deduction are for your community.

“Get involved” sounds a little amorphous though. Indeed we had a taxi cab driver the other day who pressed us over and over, saying, “I want to do something but what do I do?”

Hopefully all will be revealed in a panel session we are planning during our Summit on March 21.  That panel, “Roadmap for Action,” will talk about something you can do every month throughout the year to cultivate and make sure your policymakers are hearing from, and listening to, you.  Be it attending a town hall, writing an email or inviting your favorite policymaker out to see the best thing you’ve funded all year, we’ll be talking about how those things will help you establish a productive line of communication with your policymakers.

It may not seem like it sometimes, but those policymakers work for you. So it’s important that they know about what you think and the good work that you are doing.

So, please join us on March 21. And if you can’t be there in person, we promise to post it in this space afterward.

Top Reads

Please feel free to email us at info@acreform.com if you have any questions, stories or topics you would like us to include in our newsletter.

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