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In Oregon we are proud of our great outdoors, audacious beer and green living. We also treasure our famous quality of life. One of our best-kept secrets is how the Oregon Cultural Trust protects that quality of life.

Uniquely Oregonian, the Oregon Cultural Trust was established in 2001 to support art, heritage, history and humanities — together they define our cultural character.

The Cultural Trust empowers Oregonians to double the impact of their cultural giving at no additional cost to them.

Here’s how it works: Make a donation to one or more of Oregon’s 1,400+ cultural nonprofits, then make a matching gift to the Cultural Trust by Dec. 31. You get 100 percent of the Cultural Trust donation back when you file your state taxes – by claiming the cultural tax credit – and the state legislature invests that same amount in Oregon culture.

That’s right, the state of Oregon funds our music, our libraries, our museums and our monuments, but only when you demonstrate how important they are to you.

Now is a critical time for spreading the word about the Cultural Trust. Due to confusion around federal tax law changes, donations declined last year for the first time since the 2008 recession. While the new laws do impact how many Oregonians itemize deductions at the federal level, they do not change the benefits of investing in Oregon culture. Whether or not you itemize, your donation to the Cultural Trust still prompts a 100 percent tax credit on your state taxes!

Since its creation, the Cultural Trust has awarded $24 million to Oregon cultural nonprofits. In Coos County those awards have exceeded $265,000. A 10-year impact study by ECONorthwest calls the Trust’s geographic reach “remarkable.”

Please total your cultural donations, give a matching amount to the Cultural Trust and claim the cultural tax credit on your state taxes. We are trusting you won’t keep this important secret to yourself!

Jim Montalbano

Bandon

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