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Works of Life International Ministries Expands Aircraft Donation Program as Obama Jet Tax Increase Fails
December 20, 2011
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  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17, 2011 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Vincent Everett, CEO at Works of Life International Ministries, a non-profit, non-denominational faith-based charity, has recently approved a reinvigoration project aimed at increasing aircraft donations to one of the nation’s biggest charitable organizations of its kind. Everett’s motivation to expand the company’s aircraft donation program is due in part to the failure of President Obama’s recent proposal to eliminate corporate jet tax deductions. As jet owners continue to come under fire from the Obama administration for not wanting to give up a tax break, many in the non-profit sector are calling the President out on what they feel is a lack of complete understanding on a more complex issue. Everett predicts aircraft donations will thrive as long as jet tax laws continue to offer tax deductions on corporate purchases. “Well first of all,” says Everett, “proponents of the tax break praised it as a way to spur economic activity by encouraging businesses to by buy large goods, such as planes. Obama is calling to repeal a tax law that his own administration pushed for in the recent past. What does that tell you? It says that the President is trying to soak the rich without looking thoroughly enough at the issue, or that his stimulus package included measures that did not stimulate the economy.” Obama’s proposal to end corporate jet tax breaks for jet owners has gotten a lot of media attention partly because it has become a sort of refrain for the President. Ever since Obama mentioned the corporate jet break a total of six times in a June press conference, Congress, pundits, and non-profit leaders have weighed in on the pros and cons of a possible end to the tax break. A recent Bloomberg article reported that, according to two congressional aides familiar with the proposal, such tax break would put $3 billion into the Treasury over a decade, less than one tenth of one percent (approximately %0.075) of Obama’s target for reducing the federal deficit. “Ending such tax breaks,” said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the top republican on the Senate Finance Committee, “won’t do anything about the real spending programs that really are driving us into bankruptcy.” For those who think the President is soaking the rich by pushing an end to the corporate jet tax break, that %0.075 figure suggests that, rather than offering realistic solutions for reducing the national deficit, Obama is making a political statement against “the rich.” “If such a tax break passed congress,” says V. Everett, “the effects on many Americans would be drastic. Take a look at companies like Cessna, General Electric, Boeing, and Textron: they have facilities all across the US; a decline in the use of private jets would have negative effects on many local economies. The tax break initially created a boost in the consumption of private jets, which was a positive economic stimulant. This tax break encourages the manufacture, consumption, and charitable potential of aircraft donations.” Non-profit charitable organizations like Works of Life were one among several industries that experienced a boost in production as a result of the tax break. “Aircraft donations help us make a greater impact in the communities we serve,” says Everett. He adds, “What Obama did in proposing an end to the jet tax break was to tell non-profit organizations like ours all across the US that not only would this measure hurt our potential to provide charitable works and services but that he would give the money to the government to spend however they want it. We’re not in the business of partisanship at Works of Life, but if you ask me if I trust the government to do a better job with that funding, I’d have to be honest and say not a chance.” Works of Life, who has a strategic partnership with the With Causes charitable network, has accepted aircraft donations perennially for over a decade. In addition, With Causes provides several subset donation programs where people can donate cars, donate boats, donate yachts, or even donate real estate and receive a charitable tax deduction for their donation. Consultants who advise companies on airline purchases, according to the same Bloomberg article, say that the proposed tax break cuts would affect business decisions about when and how to buy aircraft. “The change could cause companies to delay purchases or buy smaller planes than they would have purchased otherwise,” says Gary Horowitz, a Wiley Rein attorney. Many leaders in the non-profit industry, Everett included, feel that Obama is unfairly blanketing jet owners and oil companies as one in the same. “This tax break isn’t about the 1% versus the 99%,” says Everett. “Real companies, real people and real local economies are affected by these kinds of tax regulations. I’d hate to see good, productive, and socially responsible organizations suffer as a result of tax regulations that, as far as I can tell, the President doesn’t fully grasp on a micro level. Either that or he’s making a political statement by threatening to take away people’s livelihoods and stifling the non-profit sector’s ability to effect positive social change.

    Date: 2011-12-19