May 1, 1998

Counterpoint: Poor Gore can’t muster funds for charitable contributions

Vice president will find that donations save taxes

Aaah! It’s suddenly after April 15 — the magic deadline that allows a certified public accountant some time to relax and reflect. Tax season is temporarily over. Now time is available to reconnect with my family — and to clean up the piles of nonurgent mail around my office.

Let’s see what checks need to be written. Oh, the annual Boy Scout breakfast has arrived. A minimum donation of $100 is expected from every attendee.

The Longs Peak Council of Boy Scouts certainly merits this consideration, with its programs for our youth. Local businesses will contribute more than $30,000 at the breakfast to support scouting. Luckily for our communities, many adults eagerly volunteer their money and their time to the worthy causes of both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

And here is a letter from Poudre School District’s Volunteers in Poudre Schools (VIPS). VIPS needs a donation to support its activities promoting volunteerism in our public schools. Frankly, without volunteer efforts in our classrooms, where would education be? VIPS coordinates tens of thousands of donated hours and dollars without even counting the efforts of the numerous parent organizations around the school district.

Other mail includes a request from the University of Illinois for their student leadership programs. Times are tough at the Champaign/Urbana campus with the state Legislature electing to spread its dollars throughout the state. Sitting next to that request is a letter from my fraternity, as the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation seeks assistance with its necessary educational programs.

With spring arrived, who wouldn’t want to become a hole sponsor for the various local golf tournaments? St. Joseph’s, Fort Collins Economic Development Corp. and the Cancer Society all have letters on my desk asking for sponsorships or participation in their golf tournaments.

I guess it could be worse if I were a golfer or the elected vice president of the United States.

Ah, yes, the vice president. Based on numbers contained in Al and Tipper Gore’s 1997 income-tax return, they reported adjusted gross income of more than $197,000 and charitable contributions of $353.

The vice president’s staff noted that donations were down because the second family had no royalty earnings from special books and events, which normally would be turned over to charity.

Isn’t this the vice president who has admitted to being the inspiration for a character in “Love Story?” Shouldn’t Eric Segal have given him a portion of his book royalties to donate to charity?

Surely, Mr. Gore’s education at Harvard has proved valuable in later life.

After all, his roommate was Tommy Lee Jones, and knowing the Hollywood crowd can be invaluable to any Washington politician. Contributing $500 to Harvard has an after federal and Tennessee tax cost of only $295 for a family in the Gore tax brackets. Besides the tax savings, giving money to Harvard will further identify Mr. Gore as a true intellectual liberal.

Because the U.S. government provides him free housing in the vice president’s mansion, maybe Gore thought the regulations he learned about fund raising applied. Remember, he found out after the fact how wrong it was to raise election funds from inside federal buildings. Maybe he felt that making charitable contributions from federal mansions was somehow illegal.

We’ve been told that Gore’s cash donations were limited due to the various time donations made to charities. Who, for one minute, doesn’t think these media opportunities were little more than thinly disguised attempts to gain leverage for a run in 2000 for president?

My advice, Mr. Vice President, is give to the college or university of your choice. Send public radio a donation. Send money to organizations such as GASP to educate citizens about the health hazards associated with tobacco.

Make donations to a church. It’s the American thing to do — and it saves on your tax bill!

Former Fort Collins mayor John Knezovich is a certified public accountant.

Vice president will find that donations save taxes

Aaah! It’s suddenly after April 15 — the magic deadline that allows a certified public accountant some time to relax and reflect. Tax season is temporarily over. Now time is available to reconnect with my family — and to clean up the piles of nonurgent mail around my office.

Let’s see what checks need to be written. Oh, the annual Boy Scout breakfast has arrived. A minimum donation of $100 is expected from every attendee.

The Longs Peak Council of Boy Scouts certainly merits this consideration, with its programs for our youth.…

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