Federal Policy Update for Georgia Arts Supporters, April 2013

The Georgia Arts Network, in conjunction with Americans for the Arts (AFTA), will keep you updated on federal-level policy issues that affect the arts. A few current updates:

  • NEA funding: the President just released his FY14 budget proposal, which includes a $154 million appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as well as a similar figure for the National Endowment for the Humanities. This aligns closely with AFTA’s official request for $155 million. Both represent a ~$9 million increase from last year’s approved budget, and a ~$16 million increase over the current year once sequestration is taken into account.
  • Each year since he was elected, the President’s budget has proposed consolidating the Arts in Education program into a new funding pool called “Effecting Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education.” The program would combine support for “the arts, health education, foreign languages, civics and government, history, geography, environmental education, economics and financial literacy, and other subjects.” The fund has yet to be enacted, and each year the proposed total funding for the consolidated program has decreased. The FY14 request from the White House is $75 million to be shared by all of the subjects. In prior years, Congress has protected the Arts in Education fund as a distinct program at nearly $25 million. AFTA and other arts groups are requesting $30 million for FY14 and that the program remains separate from other subject-based funding.
  • Tax reform appears to be on the way. The legislative staff we spoke with at Arts Day all believed that tax reform proposals will come out this summer. The charitable tax deduction remains on the table. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation is expected to release a report next month with recommendations for reforming the new tax code. The House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee will likely not make any moves until that report is released. Read the Foundation Center’s release on the larger nonprofit community’s response to the possibility of tax changes affecting our donors.
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