New Tax Bill May Not Hurt Alumni Gifts

The proposed tax bill's drastic limitation on deductions will have little effect alumni gifts and endowment funds, Eugene G. Kractzer, Jr. '29, Recording Secretary of the University, said yesterday.

He admitted, however, that there was a disagreement on this point among various university officials, and that many felt a tax bill with limited deductions would be fatal" to college fund-raising.

John Meck, Treasurer of Dartmouth College, said, "I have always thought that tax deductions were an important element in a substantial amount of giving." He did not include the small gifts up to $100, but pointed out that the Ivy League colleges were now pushing for larger alumni gifts of $1000. He noted that these gifts would be affected by a changed tax structure.

An earlier form of the bill contained a live per cent floor for all deductions--no contributions under five per cent of total income could be deducted. Meck said that all officials involved with college finance had been very worried about this provision, which had elicited many protests from various individuals and alumni groups.

Kraetser, however, maintained that no tax provisions would have any effect on alumni giving. Alumni give in answer to a plea, not as a tax dodge," he said. "The tax aspect of giving has been over-played."

Automatic Deduction

He pointed out that many people in middle income brackets can deduct ten per cent of their income automatically without enumerating the deductions. The implication that this group would give substantialy less than others does not hold in fact, he said.


Kraetzer noted that alumni giving is based on money available at the present, not on a future tax refund. "Some people may no longer give if they cannot make deductions," he said, "but most people do not work this way."

Meck's opinion again differed from that of Kraetzer. "While taxes are not a primary reason for giving, they do play a part," he said. "If he does not save a little by giving, a person thinks a little harder about it."