Oregon Culture Trust matches arts donations

Dec. 31 is the deadline for 2012 tax credit

Supporters of Oregon’s arts, heritage and humanities have just hours remaining to take advantage of a very special incentive to sustain Oregon culture.

Using Oregon’s innovative cultural tax credit program, citizens who donate to local arts nonprofits and match those gifts with a donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust can reduce their tax bill by the OCT matched amount.

The cultural tax credit is simple: For example, if you’re a donor to Columbia

Arts at $60; you joined the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association for $50; and you supported Columbia Gorge Arts in Education at $50, your local qualified arts and culture donations total $160.

By making a matching gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust of $160 by Dec. 31 the cultural tax credit will reduce your tax bill by $160.

If you haven’t yet supported local OCT participating arts organizations, you may still do so with donations submitted and postmarked by Dec. 31.

The 12 qualifying Hood River nonprofit organizations include Columbia Center for the Arts, Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association, Columbia Gorge Arts in Education, Friends of the Hood River County Library, Friends of Clackamas Lake Historic Ranger Station, The Fruit Foundation Historical Society, Hood River Library Foundation, International Museum of Carousel Art, Mid-Columbia Centro Cultural, Mid-Columbia Japanese- American Citizens League, Radio Tierra and Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum.

A tax credit is easier to claim than a deduction. It can be claimed by anyone who owes Oregon taxes. You don’t have to itemize deductions, and the cultural tax credit can be claimed on the short form or long.

To help would-be donors, the Cultural Trust office will be open on New Year’s Eve for last-minute donations.

Since 2002 the goal of the OCT has been to build a permanent, sustainable fund for culture in Oregon. The money raised through the cultural tax credit returns to the community as grants. Since 2002, Oregonians have contributed $25 million to OCT.

The Trust has awarded more than $11 million through hundreds of grants to support theater, music, dance, historic preservation, libraries and every aspect of culture — in every county of the state.

The cultural tax credit may be claimed for a gift to the OCT of up to $500 by individuals, $1,000 by couples filing jointly or $2,500 by corporations.

This program ensures a 100 percent, dollar-for-dollar, bottom-line savings on taxes — as long as that gift is matched by equal or greater contributions to any of Oregon’s more than 1,300 arts, heritage and humanities nonprofits.

A searchable database of qualifying nonprofits can be found at http://www.culturaltrust.org listed under the “what we support” button. See “participating cultural nonprofits” for a full listing or to sort by city.

Checks must be postmarked by Dec. 31 or earlier to earn a 2012 cultural tax credit but online donors have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, to make a gift that will save significantly on their 2012 Oregon taxes.

For additional information visit www.culturaltrust.org or call 503-986-0088.

Oregon Cultural Trust’s mailing address is 775 Summer St. N.E., Ste. 200-M, Salem, OR 97301.

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