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Oregonians on Track to Give More Than $1 Million to Cultural Trust; Only Five Days Left for Donations to Qualify for 100% Tax Credit

Oregonians on Track to Give More Than $1 Million to Cultural Trust; Only Five Days Left for Donations to Qualify for 100% Tax Credit

Published 12-26-02

Submitted by State of Oregon

SALEM, OR - Oregonians are answering the call to support arts and culture by donating to the Oregon Cultural Trust during the month of December.

As of December 24, $650,000 had been received by the Oregon Cultural Trust, a pace that is expected to eclipse $1 million by the year's end. The donations have been made by citizens in every part of the state and with gifts that are averaging just over $500.

"Oregonians are making a strong statement in support of culture, while making a wise investment in the economic vitality of our state," said Ross McKeen, interim executive director of the Trust. "In addition to providing a means to communicate about our times and our people, arts and culture have a bottom line benefit to our state by helping to attract and retain businesses, generate jobs and promote tourism."

The Cultural Trust is a statewide cultural plan to raise significant new funds to invest into Oregon's arts, humanities, and heritage assets. In addition to the creation of a long-term, protected endowment, funds will be distributed each year to partner organizations, county and tribal cultural coalitions, and competitive grant applicants. Donations to the Cultural Trust are eligible for an innovative 2002 tax credit as of December 1 2002, making December the only month this year in which donations qualify. Moving forward, donations can be made year-round.

"The time to act is now," said Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, chairman of the board for the Oregon Cultural Trust. "Residents must make their donations by December 31 in order to qualify for the tax credit on their 2002 income taxes. I urge each and every Oregonian to consider this gift to the culture of our state."

Donors to the Cultural Trust are eligible for a 100% tax credit for contributions of up to $500 for individuals ($1,000 for couples filing jointly) and $2,500 for corporations. To qualify for the credit, a donor must have also made matching gifts to one or more cultural nonprofits in Oregon during the 2002 tax year. One of the Cultural Trust's goals is to motivate Oregonians to increase direct giving to cultural groups.

"We're seeing evidence that this is happening this year," according to McKeen.

Fifty-eight percent of money raised through the Trust will be placed in an endowment fund, with the remaining 42 percent being distributed to counties, tribes, Cultural Partners (Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Council for the Humanities, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society, and the State Historic Preservation Office), and through grants to various Oregon non-profits supporting arts and culture in the state.

For additional information or to donate online, visit

State of Oregon

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