Dec 14, 2012 12:20 AM by Tony Spehar -

Looming fiscal cliff boosting local charitable donations and car sales

Uncertainty over what will happen if the country goes over the fiscal cliff or if a deal over spending cuts and tax hikes is reached has spurred a temporary boost in donations to local non-profits and sales for some local businesses.

Tax deductions for charitable giving are potentially on the chopping block as part of the negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff, putting a cap on deductions or getting rid of them altogether are options that are being explored. Questions about what that could mean for those wishing to donate are flooding into local non-profits like Pikes Peak United Way.

"They're wondering should I give, should I delay," explained J.D. Dallager, CEO of Pikes Peak United Way.

The United Way is urging people to donate now while they can still get a deduction. Based on an independent poll the non-profit believes three out of ten Americans who normally donate to charity would reduce the amount of money they give if changes are made to tax deductions.

"If you routinely give, definitely consider giving more this year," Dallager said. "If you're considering giving next year, you might want to consider accelerating that to this year as well."

Pikes Peak United Way has seen an increase in donations as the Dec. 31 fiscal cliff deadline approaches.

But, it's not just charities that are seeing a temporary boost as the deadline looms. Some local car dealerships have seen an increase in sales to customers who fear tax deductions for car sales could be cut as well.

"A lot of people are making decisions to buy a car now," explained Dan Jonuska, General Manager of Phil Long Ford. "This may be the last year that you can write off a hundred percent of your vehicle, specific vehicles trucks, larger SUVs and what not if you have a small business."

The boost ahead of the fiscal cliff deadline has been good for local businesses and non-profits, but there is still uncertainty about what the next year will look like if the country goes over the cliff or some kind of deal is worked out in Washington.


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