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Canadian surge subsides – Community funds grow


Canadian philanthropy, boosted by a booming economy and tax-law change, now is slowing as the stock market cools and the tax change nears its expiration, the Financial Post reported May 5.

The tax change, enacted in 1997 and scheduled to expire at the end of the year, effectively halves the capital-gains tax paid for donating securities rather them selling them first and giving cash, the Post said in a special Wealth Report.

“The measure has been a huge success,” Gordon Floyd, vice president for public affairs for the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, told the Post.

The robust economy and tax change spurred a slew of big gifts last year, including $100 million from Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-chief executive of Research in Motion – maker of the BlackBerry wireless device — to create the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

And gifts last year to the 110 members of the Community Foundations of Canada totaled $185 million, with more than 60 percent of it in the form of securities.

Paul Martin, Canada’s minister of finance, is mulling four options for tax provision, including canceling it, extending it, making it permanent or adding other forms of bequests such as real estate, the Post said.

U.S. tax law, for example, lets an individual make a tax-deductible gift of a house that a charity can use as an office or sell to raise cash.

For full story, go to the Financial Post.

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