Here’s an eye-opener that sailed across the transom last week: Various reports indicate that although the income gap continues to widen, the richest among us are doling out less to not-for-profits while the lesser-advantaged and middle class are forking over larger shares of their incomes. All of this is courtesy of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which did an all-encompassing analysis of IRS data (which we presume to be truthful). The Chronicle said Americans who earned $200,000 or more reduced the share they gave to charity by 4.6 percent from 2006 to 2012. Those earning less than $100,000 donated 4.5 percent more. Analysis was based on tax returns filed by Americans who itemize their deductions, including their charitable gifts. Rankings were compiled for states and metropolitan areas based on the ratio of contributions to adjusted gross income. Utah was the most generous, donating $65.60 to charity for every $1,000 earned. One factor is Utah’s large presence of Mormons, whose church practices call for them to give at least 10 percent of their income to charity. Indiana was 17th, donating $32.60 for every $1,000 earned in 2012. That was up from $31.70 in 2006. Indianapolis ranked fifth among metro areas in the fastest-growing generosity category. Indy-area residents donated an average of $32.20 out of every $1,000 earned in 2012, up 5.2 percent since 2006. It’s funny that there was no mention of any potential impact the higher tax rates for the wealthy may have had. We wonder what those charities have to say about how President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) believe it’s more important to send money to Washington instead of to the not-for-profits.
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