Oregon Culture Trust matches arts donations

Dec. 31 is the deadline for 2012 tax credit

Supporters of Oregon’s arts, heritage and humanities have just hours remaining to take advantage of a very special incentive to sustain Oregon culture.

Using Oregon’s innovative cultural tax credit program, citizens who donate to local arts nonprofits and match those gifts with a donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust can reduce their tax bill by the OCT matched amount.

The cultural tax credit is simple: For example, if you’re a donor to Columbia

Arts at $60; you joined the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association for $50; and you supported Columbia Gorge Arts in Education at $50, your local qualified arts and culture donations total $160.

By making a matching gift to the Oregon Cultural Trust of $160 by Dec. 31 the cultural tax credit will reduce your tax bill by $160.

If you haven’t yet supported local OCT participating arts organizations, you may still do so with donations submitted and postmarked by Dec. 31.

The 12 qualifying Hood River nonprofit organizations include Columbia Center for the Arts, Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association, Columbia Gorge Arts in Education, Friends of the Hood River County Library, Friends of Clackamas Lake Historic Ranger Station, The Fruit Foundation Historical Society, Hood River Library Foundation, International Museum of Carousel Art, Mid-Columbia Centro Cultural, Mid-Columbia Japanese- American Citizens League, Radio Tierra and Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum.

A tax credit is easier to claim than a deduction. It can be claimed by anyone who owes Oregon taxes. You don’t have to itemize deductions, and the cultural tax credit can be claimed on the short form or long.

To help would-be donors, the Cultural Trust office will be open on New Year’s Eve for last-minute donations.

Since 2002 the goal of the OCT has been to build a permanent, sustainable fund for culture in Oregon. The money raised through the cultural tax credit returns to the community as grants. Since 2002, Oregonians have contributed $25 million to OCT.

The Trust has awarded more than $11 million through hundreds of grants to support theater, music, dance, historic preservation, libraries and every aspect of culture — in every county of the state.

The cultural tax credit may be claimed for a gift to the OCT of up to $500 by individuals, $1,000 by couples filing jointly or $2,500 by corporations.

This program ensures a 100 percent, dollar-for-dollar, bottom-line savings on taxes — as long as that gift is matched by equal or greater contributions to any of Oregon’s more than 1,300 arts, heritage and humanities nonprofits.

A searchable database of qualifying nonprofits can be found at http://www.culturaltrust.org listed under the “what we support” button. See “participating cultural nonprofits” for a full listing or to sort by city.

Checks must be postmarked by Dec. 31 or earlier to earn a 2012 cultural tax credit but online donors have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, to make a gift that will save significantly on their 2012 Oregon taxes.

For additional information visit www.culturaltrust.org or call 503-986-0088.

Oregon Cultural Trust’s mailing address is 775 Summer St. N.E., Ste. 200-M, Salem, OR 97301.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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