Obama Considers Veto of Extension of Charitable Giving Incentives

The White House is considering a veto of legislation to restore three separate incentives for charitable giving, a move that would deal a setback to legislators aiming to make those incentives permanent, The Hill reports.

Both House Ways and Means Committee chair Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) had hoped their bill would make it to President Obama's desk before members of Congress head home for the holidays. The bill, which remains on the calendar of legislation that still has a chance of receiving floor consideration before the current Congress ends, would permanently restore tax breaks for donations of food, charitable contributions from certain retirement accounts, and gifts for land conservation that expired at the end of 2013.

Over the summer, the president threatened to veto a package of five permanent tax breaks for charitable giving, including the three incentives that Camp and Wyden are working to restore. At the time, the administration said it supported policies that helped charities but believed the $11 billion cost of the incentives should be offset. This week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the new version of the legislation is very similar to the one the president had threatened to veto.

In a letter to House leadership, a group of nonprofit associations, including the Council on Foundations and Independent Sector, argued that enactment of the legislation "would give nonprofits and foundations unprecedented ability to fulfill their missions, helping those in need and building stronger communities across America. A one-year extension, which would put these tax incentives in place for merely three weeks, is not enough."

Bernie Becker. "WH Floats Veto Threat on Charitable Tax Bill." The Hill 12/09/2014.