Bloom advises wait and see on contributions

Town Counsel Ira Bloom has advised the town to wait and see what the Internal Revenue Service response will be to a new state law that opens the door to the town accepting charitable contributions in lieu of taxes.

The law is known as PA 18-49. Ben Barnes, secretary of the state Office of Policy and Management, is also advising towns to hold off on taking any action on it, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice told the Board of Selectmen during a meeting July 23.

“We asked the town counsel for input on the public act allowing municipalities to accept charitable contributions in lieu of taxes. The response from the town counsel and the Office of Policy and Management is that we take a wait-and-see approach,” Vanderslice said.

One key question is whether the IRS will allow individuals to deduct their contributions from their taxes.

As it stands now, contributions may not be deductible and there needs to be more explanation of the details in the regulation, Vanderslice said.

“We don’t want to get involved in something that’s not defined,” she said.