Monday, October 08, 2012

Special Pleading

Laura McKenna blogs about Local Education Foundations, which spend tax-deductible contributions on a particular school or district, thereby increasing education inequality.

What’s interesting in the comments is to watch people attempt to define standards for tax deductibility such that contributions to Stuff-I-Like can be deducted while contributions to Stuff-I-Don’t-Like can’t.

Reading stuff like this reinforces my general belief that the charitable giving deduction should be abolished across the board, from Harvard and Guggenheim to LEFs and churches.  But considering that public schools are primarily supported by local property taxes, and that these taxes are already deductible from federal taxes, I’m not sure on what grounds we would disallow deductibility for additional contributions to these same schools.


Anonymous said...

Erase all deductability. Then see how people give when they are truely free to do as they please.

Dr. Φ said...

It's axiomatic that if you tax it you get less of it. The more interesting question is how the change affects the distribution of benefactors and beneficiaries.

heresolong said...

Except that charitable giving is a far more efficient method of allocating assistance dollars than government spending. People won't give unless they think it is having an effect. This is a tax deduction that I support wholeheartedly (full disclosure: I almost never get to itemize deductions so I don't personally benefit from this).