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Rep. Bilirakis Discusses Tax Increases on Charities

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Published on Oct 26, 2009

Courtesy FOX 13, WTVT-Tampa:
It was a dream for Hilary Sessions -- a brand new, 3,000-square-foot building, ready for her non-profit group to move in.

It was a year ago when they dedicated the office in Brandon for the Child Protection Education of America group. It is a center that helps locate missing children and keep their cases in the public eye.

"Now," she complained, "we have an empty building."

In April, the center ceased operations. Sessions knew the economy was tight, but she blames her drastic reduction in donations on President Obama and a proposal he made in March.

"The bottom line was people were afraid with the new administration coming in that they were going to change the tax law this year so that it wouldn't be deductible this year," Sessions explained, standing outside her now-empty office space.

Under the plan, households making more than $250,000 would see their tax deduction for charities drop from 35 percent to 28 percent.

Many believe people heard that and decided to cut back on the money they give, to offset the tax.

FOX 13 caught up with Congressman Gus Bilirakis as his flight landed in Tampa from Washington D.C. He said his office has received calls from non-profits asking for help.

"Both Democrats and Republicans and independents are against this. In a time of need -- Thanksgiving time, Christmas time, bad economic times -- we can't have this. Our charities are suffering as this is. I understand it will be a $4-billion impact if this passes."

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