Here is text from a very important email I just received from the ACC.



ISSUE BRIEF: BUILDING AMERICA’S CULTURAL HERITAGE


Artist-Museum Partnership Act Improves Tax Fairness for Artists, Spurs Gifts to Museums

On February 23, Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Todd Platts (R-PA) introduced the Artist-Museum Partnership Act (H.R. 1126) in the U. S. House of Representatives. This legislation proposes to amend the Internal Revenue Code allowing artists, writers, scholars and composers to receive the fair market value tax deduction when donating their works to public institutions or charitable organizations.



Under current law, if a living artist donates their work to a public institution or charitable organization, they are only allowed a tax deduction for the cost of materials.

The passage of this bipartisan bill would not only make the tax code fair and equitable, it would also be great benefit to museums throughout the country and the communities they serve. But, to be successful in moving this legislation forward, Congressmen Lewis and Platts need our help. So, we ask your participation in one of the following activities to educate your member of Congress about the importance of the bill and ask for their support.

ACTION NEEDED:

Please CALL, FAX, or EMAIL your member of Congress as soon as possible. Urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Artist-Museum Partnership Act (H. R. 1126) by contacting Miguel Martinez of Congressman Lewis’ office at (202) 225-3801 or Rebecca Wolfkiel of Congressman Platts’ office at (202) 225-5836. To assist you in your communications efforts, please see the attached issue brief and sample letter.

Contacting Your Member of Congress:

To identify your member of Congress and their contact information access www.congress.gov; type your zip code; and then click on your U.S. Representative to obtain their telephone, fax or email information.



The Artist-Museum Partnership Act (H.R. 1126 and S. 405) will encourage gifts to America’s museums and libraries by allowing the creators of original material to take a tax deduction for the fair market value of donated works. Currently, the creators may claim a deduction for only the cost of materials, such as paint, canvas, paper, and ink, no matter the works’ actual value.



The Artist-Museum Partnership Act will correct an unfair element of the tax code. Under current law, collectors can claim fair market value for donated works to a public institution or charitable organization, but artists cannot.




It is in the public interest to encourage donation and preservation of important works of art, manuscripts, scores, and papers. Collectively these document America’s cultural heritage, serving as inspiration both now and for future generations.




We are asking members of the House and Senate to cosponsor these important bills. Last Congress, the bills gained 111 cosponsors in the House and 30 in the Senate, including then-Senator Barack Obama, who also included the legislation in his campaign platform for the arts.



SAMPLE LETTER
Dear Representative [Representative’s Last Name],




I am writing to inform you about an important issue to museums throughout country and the communities they serve.




On February 23, Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Todd Platts (R-PA) introduced the Artist-Museum Partnership Act (H.R. 1126) of 2009. This legislation proposes to amend the Internal Revenue Code allowing artists, writers, scholars and composers to receive the fair market value tax deduction when donating their works to a public institution or charitable organization. If this legislation is approved, it would not only make the tax code fair and equitable, it would also be great benefit to museums and the American public.




Prior to the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, writers, composers, scholars, painters, choreographers and other artists were able to donate their work to a public or charitable organization and receive a tax deduction based on its full fair market value. Under current law, artists are only allowed a deduction based on the cost of materials used to create the donated work. Yet, collectors of these works can take the fair market value deduction when they donate them to a public or charitable organization.




In addition, most museums have limited funds to acquire new works and rely heavily on donations. However, as a result of the 1969 repeal, artists—many of whom earn very little—have no financial incentive to donate their works. Therefore, many works of local, regional, and national significance are all too often sold to private collections and never enter into the public domain. Please help us preserve and enrich our cultural heritage by providing the fair tax treatment of artists.




I respectfully urge you to support the Artist-Museum Partnership Act of 2009 by co-sponsoring the legislation.





Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your support. If you have any questions, please contact me at [Insert Phone Number] or [Insert Email].





Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Address, if not using organization letterhead]

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Comment by 2Roses on April 9, 2009 at 12:50pm
May we suggest that since we artists are so ardently engaged in the good fight for tax reform that we ask museums and charitable organizations to write their representative to reform so-called "home office laws" which make it virtually impossible for an artist to claim a deduction for an art studio in their home.
Comment by Randi Harper on March 23, 2009 at 9:29am
Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. Here's a link to the "meat" of it: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-1126

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