Hundreds of Oklahoma nonprofits have signed a letter in support of a proposed change to federal tax deduction limits supported by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Oklahoma's Sen. James Lankford.
The proposal could be a component of a new coronavirus relief package currently being considered by Congress. It would allow for an above-the-line deduction of up to $4,000 for individuals or $8,000 for those filing jointly.
Lori Long, CEO of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, said she's both optimistic the proposal will succeed, and thrilled by what it could mean for her organization and her industry.
"This will be absolutely huge for the nonprofit sector," Long said. "Especially with the pandemic that we're experiencing right now."
Long said that as the food bank continues to exceed its normal output because of the demand created by the economic turmoil of the pandemic, small and mid-sized donations are up from their usual levels, and the deduction change would incentivize more giving while also providing a benefit back to donors.
"To be able to give back to them and say, 'You can deduct this. You supported an organization at a very, very difficult time in our economy and our country,'" Long said. "Now let's give back to them by being able to say, 'You can deduct this on your taxes.'"
"We are very grateful for Sen. Lankford's support. During these challenging times, we rely heavily on our donors’ support to ensure we are providing food assistance to a growing number of Oklahomans," said Deb Bunting, interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank, in a statement.
Other local nonprofits who signed the letter include Tulsa Habitat for Humanity, the Cherokee Nation Historical Society, and Meals on Wheels of Metro Tulsa.