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Changes To The 2018 Tax Code Will Probably Hurt Charities, But It's Too Soon To Tell How Much

Andrew Harnick
The Internal Revenue Service Building, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in Washington.

Republican changes to the 2018 tax code moved the target for Americans hoping to itemize charitable donations. The higher threshold—now $12,000 for single filers, up from $6,000 in years prior—could result in larger but less frequent donations for higher-income donors, or fewer donations altogether. 

Credit Jill Hackney / Courtesy of Phil Hackney
Courtesy of Phil Hackney

Phil Hackney, associate professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh, specializes in nonprofits. He says institutions like churches and schools are less likely to see a severe drop, because they're valued in the community and often inspire a unique sense of obligation. Food banks and soup kitchens could suffer, however, because they rely more heavily on donations.

Later in the program, 90.5 WESA's Bill O'Driscoll talked to John Miller and David Bernabo about their new documentary film “Moundsville,” which opts against framing the community's residents in a political light. Moundsville overwhelmingly voted for President Trump.

Credit Courtesy of Jasiri X
Courtesy of Jasiri X

Jasiri X, independent hip-hop artist and co-founder of 1Hood Media, is using art as his personal and professional catalyst for change. Jasiri says he's focused on collaboration with other artists, activists and voices to create art that lifts new voices. 

He explains 1Hood's evolving mission, including a speaking engagement Wednesday night with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Tickets are still available here.

And the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police announced plans to expand its domestic violence unit from one specialist to four. Nicole Molinaro, president and CEO of the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, has been working with the bureau on its DV policy. She says a grant-funded unit will be a huge help to Pittsburgh-area survivors.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at
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