Monday, February 2, 2015

Today, the Obama Administration released its FY 2016 budget request to Congress, which includes a proposed $2 million funding increase for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The request also includes substantial tax reform proposals, which could impact charitable giving.

The funding increase includes an expansion of the NEA's grantmaking work with arts and the military. Also, for the first time in five years, the request proposes dedicated funding for the Arts in Education program, rather than previous proposals to consolidate or zero-out all funds. Lastly, impacting charitable giving, the request repeats a past provision that would cap tax deductions at the 28 percent rate. There has been little support in Congress for this proposal.

Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch noted in a statement:

"The Administration's FY 2016 budget request for the NEA is moving in the right direction with a $2 million increase. Congress will especially embrace the increased focus and expansion on the NEA's grantmaking work with arts and the military, including the Healing Arts Partnership. However, this proposed funding level still does not meet the needs of the 95,000 nonprofit arts organizations and state and local arts agencies across the country nor does it reflect the value of the arts to help power our nation's annual economic growth reflected in U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data showing the arts to be an annual $698.7 billion industry or 4.32 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product."

A chart of the President's request also follows below.