Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Political Action for Artists Rights

It's time to take some action. I like many, get bogged down even thinking of politics, though I do enjoy a good debate. Anaba pointed me to the Americans for the Arts organizations web site, an advocacy group for artists. They are currently urging that we contact our congressmen and senators pleading them to back a new bill coming up that will allow artists to finally claim the fair market value of their art works that they donate to auctions and non-profits. Currently, for those who are not aware of the current tax laws, artists can only claim the cost of their materials only. This bill is of great value for all artists and should be backed by every reader of On the Cusp. Follow this link to to their site where they have made contacting them as simple as filling out a short form and hitting the send button. All of this takes no longer than 2 minutes at most. Get over there and help support this bill.

4 Responses to “Political Action for Artists Rights”

Bhaanu said...
February 22, 2008 at 3:31 PM

I appreciate this post.


José said...
February 23, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Hi,

When I think about giving, I think about giving with no second thoughts. Just for the sake of helping.
Now, when a person donates money to an institution, it can put that on IRS. While like you write, when donating a work of Art, only the materials' cost can be added - I'm portuguese and I don't know how it works here in Portugal - so what I think is that the value to be taken into account should be the value for what the work is sold at the auction. I wonder if you agree with this point of view ?

Take care,

José


Scott said...
February 23, 2008 at 8:29 PM

Hi Jose,

For the most part, I would be satisfied with your solution. It is after all much better than the current option. The only draw back is that art auctions are quite unreliable when it comes to estimating a works actual market value. Often times in these artist auctions for fund raising, works are being bought for a significantly less amount than if they were to purchase it at a gallery or out of the artists studio. On the other hand, it is quite possible, if the work being bid upon is of particular interest, that the work could sell far above its usual asking price. This makes the value range a bit broad. I believe that the idea is that you would be able to claim the fair market value (the price other similar works the artist has sold in comparisson which you must have some sort of record of such sales).

One thing to point out though, is that if anyone other than the artist were to donate the works for auction, they can actually claim the full value of the work. Seems a bit unfair. Hopefully this bill will finally pass.


Anonymous said...
February 24, 2008 at 8:43 PM

I think the final point made in the last post is the most significant. Because otherwise it could be argued that the fair market value is what is paid at the auction, period. When I donate my car to charity I don't get to write off what it is theoretically worth (the blue book value) but rather what it was bought for at auction. Personally, I think this is fair. I don't think it is fair, though, if that only applies to artists, or, to carry the comparison further, to people who build their own cars, and not to people who buy cars made by other people.


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