House hearings next week will focus on key areas for many NRB members. On Valentine’s Day, the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing on the charitable tax deduction in the context of its broader work on tax reform. In announcing the hearing, Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) stated, “Public charities and private foundations perform invaluable services for our society, especially during this time of economic slowdown and high unemployment. These organizations depend upon the goodwill of the American people – the most giving and charitable people in the world.” The Committee press release, after noting past proposals to alter the value of this deduction, recognized that such limitations may well have some degree of effect on giving. Chairman Camp continued, “Because of the critical role that charities play, the Committee must hear directly from the charitable community before considering any proposals as part of comprehensive tax reform that might impact their ability to obtain the resources they need to fulfill their missions.”
The day before the charitable deduction hearing, another important session has been planned by the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the panel has slated a “Satellite Video 101” hearing as a first step toward the reauthorization of legislation enabling satellite carriage of broadcast television. In remarks in December at the Villanova School of Business, Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) indicated that alterations to the 1992 Cable Act, which currently requires Must Carry rights for broadcast television stations, may be discussed in the midst of that process.
NRB will continue to urge Congress to steer clear of proposals that would diminish the charitable tax deduction. Indeed, as NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright stated in letters to Congress in December, “Rather than capping or otherwise constraining this longstanding deduction, the federal government ought to expand opportunities for the charitable impulse of Americans to thrive.”
NRB also remains vigilant on behalf of Must Carry rights for NRB TV Members.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations
Published: February 8, 2013