YOU KNOW THAT ARTISTS CANNOT DEDUCT CHARITABLE
Fair-Market Value Deduction Bills
Making the Case to Congress to Treat Artists
Like All Other Taxpayers
In 1969 when Congress repealed legislation allowing artists,
writers and composers to take a fair-market value deduction
for their works donated to a museum, library or archive, it
essentially deprived Americans of their cultural patrimony.
As a result, works donated by artists to nonprofit institutions
dramatically declined. While artists can no longer donate works
for a fair-market deduction, collectors who own those works
can take the fair-market value deduction when they donate to
a nonprofit institution.
OF THE CURRENT LAW
When artists do not have the same incentive to donate that other
taxpayers enjoy our heritage is often sold abroad or goes into
private collections. For example:
Stravkinsky planned to donate his papers to the Music Division
of the Library of Congress the month the tax reform act of
1969 was signed into law. Instead, the papers were sold to
a private foundation in Switzerland.
Museum of Modern Art in New York received 321 gifts from artists
in the three years prior to the repeal, in the three years
following repeal the museum received 28 works of art from
artists — over a 90% decrease.
biggest loser was the Library of Congress, which annually
received 15 to 20 large gifts of manuscripts from authors.
In the four years after repeal it received one gift.
Identical bills have been introduced in the House and Senate.
Congressmen Amo Houghton (R-Corning, NY) and Ben Cardin (D-Baltimore,
MD) introduced H.R. 1598 "Artists' Contribution to
American Heritage Act"and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
and Robert Bennett (R-UT) introduced S. 694 "Artist-Museum
Partnership Act". Both bills have broad bipartisan support,
with over 50 House members cosponsoring and seven senators.
The Senate passed the bill last year, but the House did not
We urge Congress to:
H.R.1598 or S. 694.
Reps. Bill Thomas (R- CA), Chair of the Ways and Means Committee
and Charles Rangel (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the committee
to help move H.R. 1598 to the House floor.
Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Chair of Finance Committee and
Charles Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Republican on the committee
to move S. 694 to the Senate floor.
this long-overdue legislation and restore nation’s cultural
heritage to the American public.
federal support for arts and cultural institutions declines,
the tax code should encourage donations from our most creative
citizens for future generations to enjoy.
nonprofit institutions have no acquisition funds to purchase
creative works and must rely on donations.
tax code strives for "horizontal tax equity" — equal
treatment to all similarly situated taxpayers. Artists should
be treated as any other taxpayer donating a work of appreciated