Alumni contributions to the Fund for Harvard College may be considerably hurt if President Kennedy's new tax bill is passed by Congress, James R. Reynolds, President Pusey's assistant for development, said yesterday.
Reynolds is afraid that the proposed action may seriously hinder donations by "the medium-sized givers, a group that is awfully important to us." Under the bill, charitable gifts, interest payments and local taxes will be deductible only if they exceed five per cent of the donor's income. Most alumni donations, many of only $10, would therefore not be deductible.
Other University officials feel, however, that the University will suffer less than churches. According to James A. Rousmaniere, director of the Fund for Harvard College, the smaller gifts to the Fund are given, entirely out of habit. He feels that the donations will continue regardless of the new rule on deductions.
Rousmaniere also suggested that the bill will be substantially amended before passage. The American Council on Education, a Washington group subscribed to by many universities, plans to lobby against the bill.
Pusey Criticizes Bill
President Pusey, in discussing the bill, commented that the proposed action attacked the basic American pattern of support for public agencies. He felt that too much emphasis would now be put on large donating and that this violated the historic principle of contributions to any worthy private endeavor.
In defense of the bill, Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon claimed before the House Ways and Means Committee that charitable donations may actually increase if the proposal is enacted.