12 August 2013

Arboretum donations tax-deductible under Rudd

| Barcham
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Rudd is looking to make gifts to the National Arboretum tax-deductible.

Is the arboretum a charity? Should it be?

In a win for one of Canberra’s most important national institutions, a re-elected Rudd Labor Government would make gifts to the National Arboretum tax-deductible.

ACT representatives Senator Kate Lundy, Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh and Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann said that this decision will encourage philanthropy to help build one of our great and newest national icons.

Already, generous Canberrans have contributed significantly to the major buildings on the arboretum site. It is hoped that this decision will inspire more donations to support the rest of the National Arboretum as well.

The National Arboretum opened in February and has been receiving 50,000 visitors a month, cementing itself as one of Canberra’s greatest tourist attractions.

The Government’s decision to provide the attraction with deductible gift recipient (DGR) status through a specific listing in the tax laws will ensure the project gets much needed ongoing support.

The arboretum is home to an extraordinary collection of living trees, cultivated for conservation, scientific research and education, especially in regards to the impacts of climate change.

Australians who make donations of more than $2 to the arboretum will be able to claim the gift as a tax deduction.

The National Arboretum is a jointly funded initiative between the Commonwealth and ACT governments. The ACT Government has contributed approximately $50 million with the Commonwealth Government allocating $20 million as part of its centenary of Canberra gift to the people of the ACT.

Gifts will be deductible from 1 July 2013, however a legislative amendment will be necessary to give effect to this. Funding for this commitment is already included in the budget.

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The Canberra Glassworks takes deductible donations, and I think the Arboretum is at least as valuable culturally.

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