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Charity enters the 'fiscal cliff' debate

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Albany/HV: Charity enters the 'fiscal cliff' debate
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No one but Scrooge would discourage charity. Maybe that's why, during a season of giving, it may be difficult to rationalize a possible plan by the federal government to limit charitable deductions. YNN’s Erin Vannella has more on how the nation's looming fiscal cliff could hurt local charities.

ALBANY, N.Y. – “There's a lot of families, people have kids who didn't have nothing, so they came here cause they knew they could have Christmas for their kids,” said Lorenzo Hodges, Operation Manager Jezreel International.

Donations make holidays merry, make storm clean-up possible, and at Jezreel International, they change lives.

“I seen how grateful the people were for bleach and water and blankets. They didn't have it, they lost everything,” said Hodges.

Need couldn't be greater, but for the Fed too, and some say charity, as we rapidly approach the ‘fiscal cliff,’ could take a dive.

“There is an agreement revenue should be raised…the flip side of the debate is let's not raise rates, let's limit deductions,” said Jim Daniels, UHY Advisors Managing Director.

UHY Managing Director Jim Daniels says if the government pockets the tax deductable, even partially, donors might be discouraged or not give at all.

“If I was going to get a 28 percent deduction for making a charitable contribution as opposed to 35 percent, I might consider giving less money,” said Daniels.

And that's a risk, charity founders say, the Capital Region can't afford.

“People donate many items, whether it's coats for kids, furniture, cash donations, we have a mailing list of 38,000 people that faithfully donate,” said Pastor Charlie Muller, Victory Christian Church.

“For that to end, it's just going to end a lot of giving. Businesses want to help but they need help too. We don't want to end that, this is what our country survives on,” said Hodges.

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