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One of Oregon's better known political action committees, Oregon Right to Life, has taken to the newspaper pages to remind you that it appreciates presents just as much as anyone else.
But, in case you’re not feeling particularly politically philanthropic this season, Right to Life is sweetening the pot. In a recent ad in the Catholic Sentinel, the group tells readers that making a difference (i.e. donating) is "free" and "easy."
"Announcing an amazing no-cost way to fight abortion," the ad says.
We love seeing "free" and "no cost." Mostly in conjunction with sales, but also here because it’s a tell-tale sign of a good fact check.
The ad urges people "to use some of your taxes to help prevent abortion" and says the group uses the money "to help elect pro-life candidates in Oregon." According to the ad, individual Oregonians can make a $50 political donation ($100 for couples) to Oregon Right to Life and get a tax credit back in the very same amount. Amazing! But is it true?
We did some googling and found ourselves on the Oregon Department of Revenue’s website. Lo and behold, there it was, under a list of possible tax credits: "Political contributions."
"Oregon law allows a tax credit for political contributions," according to the site.
It makes sense, we suppose, why wouldn’t politicians pass a tax break that has the potential to help them?
Here are the details: Under Oregon tax law, an individual can donate up to $50 (again, $100 for a couple jointly filing) to a candidate or their principal campaign committee, a political action committee or a political party (national, state or local) and claim an equal credit on their return. Read more here.
The ruling is pretty evident; weird as it may seem, Oregon does allow you to make a small political contribution ‘for free’ by giving you a tax credit of up to $50. We rate this claim True.
Oregon Right to Life newspaper advertisement, Dec. 6, 2010
Oregon Department of Revenue political tax credit guidelines, Dec. 31, 2008
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