The Impact on Charitable Classes in Dallas County, Texas, Resulting from Changes in the Tax Economics of Private Philanthropy
Description: Private philanthropy is important in America. In 1985, philanthropy totaled almost 80 billion dollars. Philanthropy is partially a function of price. Absent a tax benefit, the price of charitable giving is unity. When tax benefits are available, the price of cash giving is one minus the marginal tax rate of the donor. Philanthropy is not evenly distributed among all classes of organizations. Changes in tax cost bring about changes in the distribution of gifts among organizations. Predictions have been made of a six to twelve billion dollar decline in individual giving as a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The question is, "Whose ox gets gored?" In 1962, the Internal Revenue Service collected data directly linking itemized charitable contributions to class of donee organization. Prior works by Taussig, Schwartz, Feldstein, and Clotfelter have been principally based on this data. Their works document differing elasticities of price on charitable giving. The current research gathered 1985 data on the relationships between income, price, and charitable donee for 298 Dallas County, Texas, taxpayers. Data was obtained from selected certified public accountants in Dallas County who prepared income tax returns for individuals as part of their practice. Two hundred fifty usable responses reflected charitable gifts. The data collected permitted the tax benefit resulting from charitable gifts to be calculated. Income levels and marginal tax rates on those gifts were then correlated with donee organizations using multiple regression analysis. The main effects of price and income on giving were masked by multicollinearity. The interaction effects of price and other independent variables showed little price effect on giving. Only when coupled with the income variable at income levels of $50,000 was the price effect significant.
Date: August 1987
Creator: McClure, Ronnie C. (Ronnie Clyde)
Partner: UNT Libraries