Thursday, November 24, 2005

Art Bill Passes in the Senate

Last March, I asked everyone to write their congressperson in support of H.R. 1120 "ARTISTS' CONTRIBUTION TO AMERICAN HERITAGE ACT" Introduced by Congressmen Jim Ramstad (R-MN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senate Bill S. 372 "ARTIST-MUSEUM PARTNERSHIP ACT" Introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Robert Bennett (R-UT).

The artists' bill is making it possible once again for artists to receive a fair market value deduction for donated works and has been making its way through the legislative process. The bills had been reintroduced in both the House and the Senate and the wording of the bill was approved Friday as an amendment to a broader $59.6 billion tax relief bill passed by the Senate.

It now goes to a House-Senate conference committee. Unfortunately, the House version of the tax relief bill does not currently include the arts provision, but the senators who introduced the amendment - Charlie Schumer, Democrat of New York, and Pete Domenici, Republican from New Mexico, both have apparently stated that they are hopeful that the House committee would support it.

So... contact your House Representative ASAP! If you do not know how to contact your legislator, visit this website. A sample letter is available here.

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. This law would allow the artist to deduct the fair appraised value of the donated work, if donated within a certain period of time.