Alexander, Cohen Cosponsor Legislation to Help Charities with High Gas Prices

Posted on September 27, 2008

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn. 9) today said that they have signed onto identical bills to increase mileage rates that drivers use to calculate how much they can deduct from their income taxes. The lawmakers said they cosponsored the GIVE Act after meeting with the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) on August 8th to discuss high gas prices and their effect on MIFA’s volunteers. “It doesn’t make any sense that a charity driver would get only 14 cents back per mile when a delivery driver for a for-profit business gets almost 60 cents back,” Alexander said. “After meeting with MIFA, Congressman Cohen and I have decided to fix this discrepancy. Tennesseans are struggling enough with high gas prices to have to worry about losing money for volunteering for charities. This legislation is a no-brainer, and I hope that Congress will act quickly to pass it.” “At a time when the economy is slowing and families are struggling in Memphis and across Tennessee, the work of charities becomes even more paramount,” said Cohen. “This is common sense legislation that gives a bigger tax deduction to charity drivers. We should be eliminating barriers and encouraging people to give their time to help those who are less fortunate, and I know that our colleagues in Congress will recognize this. I am proud to have partnered with Senator Alexander to correct this glaring inequity, and I appreciate the wonderful, dedicated people at MIFA for bringing this issue to our attention.” Under current law, the tax code provides a mileage rate of 58.5 cents per mile for business purposes, but only 14 cents per mile for charitable purposes. The GIVE Act will ensure that if a charity chooses to reimburse a volunteer at the full business rate, the 44.5-cent difference from the charity rate does not count as income to the taxpayer. Alexander and Cohen have cosponsored identical versions of the bill in the House (H.R. 6835) and the Senate (S. 3429).