It's Important that we all do this
I am pleased to report that the artists' bill making it possible once again for artists to receive a fair market value deduction for donated works is making its way through the legislative process. The bills have been reintroduced in both the House and the Senate and we once again need everyone's help to enlist co-sponsors for both bills.
Currently, when an artist donates a work of art, the artist can deduct the cost of the materials; however, if anyone else (but the artist) donates the work, they can deduct the actual fair market value of the work.
We need everyone to contact your Congressman and Senators.
BILL NUMBERS: HOUSE BILL H.R. 1120 "ARTISTS' CONTRIBUTION TO AMERICAN HERITAGE ACT" Introduced by Congressmen Jim Ramstad (R-MN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).
SENATE BILL S. 372 "ARTIST-MUSEUM PARTNERSHIP ACT" Introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT).
If you do not know your legislators' name go to this website and at the top of the page is a link to House and Senate.
Below is a sample letter, feel free to cut and paste and edit:
I urge you to become a cosponsor of [insert House or Senate bill number and name], which would allow artists to deduct fair-market value for self-generated works donated to a non-profit institution.
Passage of this legislation would enable museums, libraries and archives to solicit original works from artists, writers and composers who are both regional and national and help us strengthen the collections in [name your community or institution].
Currently, an artist, writer or composer can only deduct the cost of materials to create the work, which is not a large incentive to donate, particularly since the majority of artists, writers and composers in this country earn very little. Since the law allowing artists to deduct the fair-market value of self-generated works to a museum or library was repealed in 1969 there has been a dramatic decline in the number of such gifts offered to institutions.
Many national and important regional artists, writers and composers sell their original works to private collectors or abroad, which effectively keeps them from ever being seen by the American public. We are, in essence, deprived of part of our cultural and artistic heritage.
I look forward to hearing that you have become a cosponsor of this most important cultural legislation.