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September 09, 2015

Opinion: Corrected: Jeb Bush's Tax Plan Would Preserve Charitable Deductions — Including Those for the Rich

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Jeb Bush's tax plan would cap the charitable deduction for the rich. His plan would keep the charitable deduction and eliminate other breaks for people with high incomes.

Editor's Note: This post has been updated with a comment from the Alliance for Charitable Reform.

If elected president, Jeb Bush would promote a tax plan that maintains deductions for charitable giving and provides other tax breaks for wealthy donors, the Republican candidate writes in a Wall Street Journal column. The article details proposed legislation Mr. Bush says would create "a much simpler, leaner, and fairer tax code" and double annual economic growth to 4 percent.

"We will retain the deductibility of charitable contributions but cap the deductions used by the wealthy and Washington special interests, enabling tax-rate cuts across the board for everyone," the former Florida governor writes. Among other reforms, he proposes reducing the current seven income-tax brackets to three, with a top rate of 28 percent; nearly doubling the standard deduction; and stripping "convoluted, lobbyist-created loopholes" from the tax code.

The Alliance for Charitable Reform, a group that represents grant makers and donors, gave the plan a warm reception.

"We applaud Governor Bush for treating the charitable deduction as unique among all deductions in the tax code by preserving current law in his tax reform proposal,” said Sandra Swirski, the group's executive director.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on nonprofit leaders' concerns that Hillary Clinton's higher-education overhaul could be partially funded by limits on tax breaks for giving.