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Charities Worried About Changes In Tax Law

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) - As Americans try to understand the new Republican tax plan, some charities have big concerns over losing small donors in the future.

The Catholic Charity Food Pantry in Patterson, New Jersey lost everything just before the holidays in a fire. Thankfully, they were able to recover thanks to small donors.

"Within a week we had donations from the community more than we could hold really had to get a storage container," said Barton.

Barton is concerned that restocking won't be as easy because of the new tax law. Millions of Americans are expected to take advantage of the new standard deduction, which has been doubled, meaning fewer people will itemize their deductions. Barton is worried that people won't donate because they won't benefit from the charitable tax break.

"Everything we do relies on those donors," he said.

They're not alone. Charities like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and United Way all depend on small contributions. The United Way expects to lose up to $450 million a year under the new plan.

But some aren't buying that do-gooders will stop giving.

Mark Steber is the Chief Tax Officer for Jackson Hewitt. He remembers what happened when the charitable deduction was scrapped in the 1980s.

"I would tell them to look at the 1985 tax law that took away the ability to deduct it on your tax return and donations went up and with that group," he said.

Barton is hoping that Steber is right and people will continue to give, not for a tax break but for the good of humanity.

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