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Religion | IN BRIEF

Bill Calls for Tax Breaks for Charitable Donations

February 08, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

WASHINGTON — The Senate Finance Committee voted this week to create new tax incentives for charitable donations, part of an effort by congressional Republicans to reinvigorate President Bush's 2-year-old "faith-based initiative."

The measure would allow taxpayers who do not itemize tax deductions to write off a portion of their charitable donations and permit charitable gifts to be made tax-free from individual retirement accounts.

The bill also would increase funds for a federal program that distributes money to the states for a variety of social programs.

The committee action "brings us one step closer to creating incentives for Americans to donate more to charities, many of which are facing tough financial times," Bush said in a statement. "We must also work to level the playing field for community and faith-based organizations that provide effective social services to our fellow citizens who are in need."

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