Oregon Cultural Trust
2019 year-end Opinion/Editorial
To the Editor:
Do you value public radio, music, libraries, museums and monuments? If so, please take advantage of Oregon’s most generous offer to support them.
Every Oregonian has the right to direct a portion of their state taxes to fund arts and culture, but only a small percentage act on it.
Here’s how it works: Make a donation to one or more of Oregon’s 1,400+ cultural nonprofits, then make a matching gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust by Dec. 31. You get 100 percent of the Cultural Trust donation back when you file your state taxes – by claiming the cultural tax credit – and the state legislature invests that same amount in Oregon culture.
Since its creation in 2001, the Cultural Trust has awarded more than $30 million to Oregon cultural nonprofits. In Lincoln County those grant awards have exceeded $421,577, including FY2020 grant awards to the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition, the Lincoln City Cultural Center, the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts and the Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival Association. A 10-year impact study by ECONorthwest calls the Trust’s geographic reach “remarkable.”
And now the Cultural Trust tax credit is an even more important tool for Oregon taxpayers. While the new tax laws reduced the number of Oregonians who itemize deductions at the federal level, the benefits of investing in Oregon culture remain the same. Whether or not you itemize, your donation to the Cultural Trust still prompts a 100 percent tax credit on your state taxes!
Contributions to the Cultural Trust are easy to make and can be done online at www.culturaltrust.org. The Trust can accept appreciated stock as well as IRA distributions, which may provide additional tax benefits. For clients using Donor Advised Funds to make donations, their matching gift to the Trust must come from an alternate source of funds to qualify for the tax credit. The tax credit is limited to $500 for individual filers, $1,000 for joint filers and $2,500 for C-corporations.
If you enjoy Oregon’s arts and culture community, participating in the Cultural Trust tax credit program is the best way to give back. Make sure a portion of your state taxes supports arts and culture. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Niki Price, Vice Chair
Oregon Cultural Trust
PS: Visit culturaltrust.org to learn more.