As you know our culture is under attack. No, I’m not talking about the war on Christmas. I’m talking about lack of support for organizations that promote the arts, history, and our cultural heritage. But good news. Oregon has a model program to remedy the situation: the Oregon Cultural Trust. Because of it you can make a big contribution for a little money. For example, you can contribute $1,000 to this cause and it will only end up costing you $205.
Here’s an example of how it works. Give, say, $500 to one of several qualifying organizations. Here are some of my favorites (but there are many others):
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- Lord Leebrick Theater
- Lane County Historical Society
- Jefferson Public Radio
Then give $500 to the Oregon Cultural Trust. The latter contribution will help “create a protected endowment… to provide long-term suport for the same or similar organizations.
Here’s how your $1,000 out-of-pocket gets reduced to $205.
The Oregon Cultural Trust contribution is a tax credit. Savings: $500.
The entire $1,000 is a federal tax deduction as a charitable contribution. Savings (assuming you itemize, and a 25% tax bracket): $250.
Next the $500 contribution to the organization of your choice is a state tax deduction as a charitable contribution. Another $45 tax savings
Your actual tax savings may be more or less,l depending on your filing status, federal tax bracket. I’m assuming someone in the 25% federal bracket and 9% state. Definitely worth looking into.
Finally a culture war we can believe in.