BOSTON (AP) -- It seems like a relatively harmless way to boost charitable giving in Massachusetts: Provide state income-tax deductions for gifts to charity, as the federal government and 42 other states already do.
After all, the National Center for Charitable Statistics says that in four of the past six years citizens in affluent Massachusetts ranked 50th in charity gifts as a percentage of earnings. (Mississippi was No. 1.)
But State Sen. Michael W. Morrissey sees corporate and individual greed lurking behind Question 7 on the state ballot next month, and wrote a brochure against the idea that's being mailed to voters. He says rich people would set up foundations and reap huge tax windfalls while the state loses revenue.
Supporters argue that deductions will boost charity giving by $220 million a year. Fidelity Investments, the nation's biggest mutual fund company, has contributed $275,000 of the $365,000 being spent on the pro-deduction campaign.
Charity deductions will go into effect in January anyway, since the legislature did not wait for the referendum and passed a similar proposal in July.
On the Net:
Official Question 7 data: www.magnet.state.ma.us/sec/ele/elebq00/bq007.htm
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