I am humbled to support legislation that works to meet the needs of those in our community who suffer from hunger. My bill (H.R.644, Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2015) provides a direct benefit to our area charities and food banks – like the Food Bank of the Southern Tier – which provide a critical link in our community safety-net. By incentivizing businesses to donate their food rather than dump it in a landfill, we are helping ensure needed meals are given to those dealing with the awful reality of hunger. –Rep. Tom Reed
A “direct benefit to our area charities,” no way, Tom–it provides a direct benefit to businesses and an indirect benefit area charities and food banks at a cost to the treasury.
Here is the Congressional Budget Office summary of Tom’s bill:
H.R. 644 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to permanently extend and expand certain expired provisions that provided an enhanced tax deduction for businesses that donated their food inventory to charitable organizations. The enhanced deduction for food inventory contributions expired after December 31, 2014, and applied to sole proprietors, partnerships, and other businesses not organized as C corporations (which are already permanently allowed an enhanced deduction under more general provisions of current law). H.R. 644 would also expand the maximum deduction for all businesses by allowing deductions of food inventory donations up to 15 percent of the net income of the donating organization, an increase from the 10 percent allowed permanently under current law for C corporations and allowed previously for other businesses. In addition, the bill would allow certain businesses to make alternative assumptions about the cost basis and fair market value of donated food inventory.
Tom forgot to mention his top priority: deficit reduction. Here is what the Congressional Budget Office has to say:
The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that enacting H.R. 644 would reduce revenues, thus increasing federal budget deficits, by about $2.2 billion over the 2015-2025 period.
Tom says he seeks to “meet the needs of those in our community who suffer from hunger.” Tom forgot to mention that he was unconcerned about hunger when he supported a farm bill which defunded SNAP–food stamps. Evidently Tom’s concern about hunger and his concern about the budget deficit are secondary to his interest in enacting more tax breaks for business.
Tax breaks for businesses which donate excess inventory aren’t the only way to address poverty and hunger in America. If Tom were genuinely concerned, he could support many proposals which directly address poverty including:
- An end to sub-minimum wage employment
- Equal Pay Legislation
- Increase in Minimum Wage
- Adequate Funding for SNAP, SSDI and other such programs.
- Free Community College as proposed by President Obama
- Child Care subsidies
- Extend funding for CHIP
And many more.
- Should Tom’s bill pass House and Senate, President Obama has proposed a veto because the proposal is unfunded.
- I understand why the Food Bank supports H.R. 644, but I think they are wrong to associate their good name with Tom Reed’s political ambitions by hosting his press conference.
© William Hungerford – February 2015