Maine: (Submitted by Mary Ellen Deschenes, Maine Summer Camps—MCA) On January 14, 2014, Maine Summer Camps will hold its winter meetings in Portland, Me. Business Member CIEE (Council for International Educational Exchange) is hosting the event at their headquarters at 300 Fore Street in Portland, ME. In the morning, Chris Wentworth, Camp Wyonegonic’s Operations Coordinator & Webmaster will offer a workshop, Helpful Web Tools Every Camp Should Know About, covering cool web tools that can help camps stay organized, save time, and in some cases, save money.
Lunch, generously sponsored by CIEE, begins at noon, and is followed immediately by the Annual Business/Camp Networking Event, a fast paced and fun opportunity for MSC business members and camp staff to informally meet & greet and do some business – fast paced and fun! Pre-registration required; go to mainecamps.org/events-training, or call 207-518-9557 for information.
Legislative Update: Maine’s Cap on Itemized Deductions
In the last legislative session, Maine’s Biennial budget included a $27,500 cap on itemized deductions, including the charitable giving deduction. This stands to significantly harm the charitable income prospects for all Maine non-profit camps. While tax deductions are not the only reason itemizers give to charity, they do allow for larger and more gifts to charity. In fact, a recent report by the U.S. Trust reports that 45 percent of donors said they would reduce giving if the income tax deduction were changed. According to the IRS Statistics of Income Data, 2010, this cap would eliminate the charitable giving incentive for all Maine itemizers with income over $200,000.
Maine’s non-profit camps successfully participated in a recent call-in effort to have LR 2617 re-entered onto the list of bills to be heard in the upcoming short session of the legislature, which deals only with “emergency” legislation. LR 2617 would carve the charitable giving deduction out of the overall cap, preserving a tax deduction that benefits the greater good much more than it benefits the tax-payer. It will take a lot of efforts by non-profits, but there is now a chance that the charitable deduction can be preserved.