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Oregonians: Oregon Cultural Trust - you can get back more than you donate

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Oregonians, please read: You can contribute to the Oregon Cultural Trust and receive more money back on your taxes than the amount of the donation.

Just one day and a bit left to contribute for 2011. Contribute online or by mail postmarked by Saturday, December 31.


If you itemize your taxes and have made a charitable contribution to a cultural non-profit in Oregon (including the tax deductible portion of memberships at the Oregon Zoo, OMSI, Portland Art Museum, Children's Museum, Oregon Coast Aquarium and many other organizations that might not pop to mind when you think "culture"; see link at the bottom of this post) then it is possible to get more money back on your taxes than you contribute to the Oregon Cultural Trust. If you don't itemize, you can still break even, but by donating you can effectively direct your tax money to some worthy cultural causes.


(1) You get 100% of your Oregon Cultural Trust donation back as a tax credit on your Oregon taxes, up to $500 for individuals and $1000 for couples filing jointly. The only catch is that you get the credit only for "matching" funds, so if you can deduct, say, $460 for Zoo, OMSI, and other memberships or donations made during the year, you can then donate a "matching" $460 to the OCT and get the entire OCT contribution back as an Oregon tax credit.


You are free to donate more than what you can claim as a tax credit.


(2) Whether or not you qualify for a credit, an OCT donation can be claimed on your Federal taxes if you itemize, thereby reducing both your Federal and Oregon taxes. Between this and the 100% tax credit, you can get more money back than what you contribute to the OCT.


There was some controversy a couple years back about the state of Oregon moving money from the OCT into general funds. This was from OCT license plate sales; direct donations to the Trust cannot be appropriated by the State.



Participating non-profits:


Edited by nmoira
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Thanks, Moira! I do this every year but haven't this time, so this is a timely reminder. One time I did it online a few minutes before midnight Dec. 31! Should do today to avoid that.


It is a wonderful program and important to support arts and culture in our state.

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