This week, House Republicans will introduce a new tax bill that is set to help grow the economy by simplifying tax returns—in part, by eliminating tax deductions, or rather, raising its standard. With the promise to preserve the deduction for charitable donations, these proposed changes in the bill will ultimately discourage giving, leaving nonprofits worried about the future of their mission and its supporters.
Currently, taxpayers who itemize — meaning, they detail gifts to charity and business expenses on their returns — may deduct their donations to nonprofits. The final legislation plans to double the standard tax deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples. This will lead to fewer taxpayers itemizing their deductions on their tax returns. This high number ultimately reduces the incentive to give to charities, only leaving the charitable-giving option open to 5% of Americans.
So, what does this say for the supporters of InLiquid? Undoubtedly, our programming and mission, to make visual arts and culture accessible to the public, could not be possible without the support of our donors and member-artists. In the face of this adversity, one thing to think about is: besides tax deduction, why does one donate to arts and culture? When asking, “why art?” the answer is simple: we are human. Humans are filled with passion and constantly need visual reminders that beauty, romance, love, and compassion are not just emotions we live with, but is the stuff we live for. It’s more than just a painting on the wall. Whether it be in teaching children history and science through animation or sculpture, or even that two-minute video sparking pathos in a business pitch, everything we do begins visually and starts with art.
We’ve finally reached a time where art has reached a level of inclusivity, welcoming all to join the conversation; you don’t have to go to Venice Biennale or Art Basel to see what beauty, realness, and experiences today’s visual artists have to offer. And that’s the meat of what makes InLiquid Art + Design as unique as it is.
So what can you do to continue your support despite the new tax bill? In the face of adversity, the strongest thing to do is to keep on going, knowing that any amount of action counts. This week, In Virginia, we saw the power of what a single vote could do. With the difference of 11,608-to-11,607, Shelly Simonds won the Virginia House of Delegates seat by the slim margin of one vote. Just as every vote counts, so does every dollar that helps create every gallery visit, artist talk, and workshop possible.