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the number of miles driven on behalf of charitable activities. there is a corresponding increase in the number of miles driven on behalf of charitable activities then S. 1167 and S. 1579 will have been successful in increasing the level of private sector volunteer participation which, in turn, will further decrease the demand for federal revenues. More importantly, however, is the added support to America's communities and citizens in need that the enactment of S. 1167 and S. 1579 will help to bring forth.
Another argument that has been advanced in opposition to the increase in the volunteer mileage deduction is that "of the difficulty in identifying and quantifying the amount of indirect costs in operating POV's for charitable purposes that are properly attributable to the charitable endeavors". The problem with this argument, as we see it, is that it assumes a difficulty that would not, in fact, be present since the volunteer mileage rate deduction would be tied to the business / federal employee mileage deduction rate. Further, the terms identification and quantification imply some sort of rule making requirement on the part of the Treasury that would be difficult to develop. Yet, no such regulations would be necessary. Indeed, S. 1167 and S. 1579 will simplify the regulatory burden of the Treasury Department because there will be one rate and one formula to determine that rate. Likewise, arguments regarding "enforceability" are groundless unless it can be shown that volunteers are somewhat less honest than persons taking business related deductions for private automobile use. We doubt that such is the case since a 1981 survey by the Gallup Organization indicates that approximately 84 million Americans, 52 percent
of the adult population, typically donate some part of their time as volunteers.
Moreover, arguments which argue current law, as opposed to arguments which examine the merits of the proposed change, are not really arguments but rather statements in support of the maintenance of the status quo. But, the status quo is currently sending the wrong message to volunteers. The current mileage deduction differential between business/government and volunteers is telling the men and women who support community based volunteer programs that their services are not as valuable as the services of business and government employees. Yet, the Gallup study referred to earlier revealed that the estimated value of goods and services attributable to non-profit organizations during 1981 was nearly $64 billion. In 1980 another survey, by a different organization, estimated the value of non-profit services and products at $45 billion. The magnitude of this increase, $20 billion in one year brings the contribution of the non-profit community into proper focus. Volunteers and volunteer organizations have not been content with maintaining the status quo, indeed, they are actively seeking to increase their commitments to America's needy. But they need help.
Clearly, Mr. Chairman, non-profit organizations through the use of volunteers, including the Legion, have responded to the President's call for increased assistance to Americans in need from the private sector.
But, Mr. Chairman, lets look for a moment at the maintenance of the status quo. In 1957, the year prior to the institution of
the volunteer mileage tax deduction, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline in the United States was $.309, and the allowable tax deduction was $.07 per mile. During 1983 the average cost of a gallon of gasoline has been $1.27 and the allowable tax deduction is $.09 per mile.
Looking at these figures in another way, we see that during the last 25 years the allowable deduction for charitable POV use has increased by 28.6 percent. While, during the same period, motor fuel has increased by 241 percent. Likewise, in 1957, the allowable deduction represented 22.7 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline but by 1983 the allowable deduction represented only 7 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline. For today's driver to maintain parity with the volunteer driver of 1958, in terms of percentage of cost, he would need an allowable deduction of $.28 a mile.
But, Mr. Chairman, the volunteer community is not asking that the volunteer mileage deduction be raised to $.28 a mile. Instead, the volunteer community is only asking for parity with persons who, today, use their automobiles for government and commercial purposes. We believe that this is not only a fair request, but a responsible request as well.
Mr. MILLER. In addition, Mr. Chairman, I have two letters which were received by the Legion's legislative division last year regarding the volunteer mileage proposals, and which highlight concern of our people in the field. I would also like to introduce for the record a couple of documents which indicate the degree of involvement of the American Legion in volunteer programs and activities, and a copy of the 1982 consolidated post report, which details the level of that activity, with your permission.
Senator ARMSTRONG. Yes. We would like to have that in the record also.
[The above two letters and the documents follows:]
Dear Mr. Riggin,
I have been asked by Mrs Sylvia J. Klonis
to write this letter to
the American Legion
Unit 575 Emerson, Lowa and a
This past year 1981, I put in 59774 hr. of volunteer work. driveing 4,924 mi. 126 hr. at the Veterans Hospital, Omaha, Neb. 405 hr. At the Glenwood State Hospital School 61 hr. with the Towa Special Olympics And the remaining hes. serving at the Nishna Valley School, Sastings during National Education Neck.
Are in the 70-80
Our Legion Auxiliary is very small in numbers - 4/mem. 80% of these ladies yr. Age range. Soour, money makeing projects are few. And funds very low. They offered me $5.00 a month to help on Gas to drive to the V. H. Hosp, in Omaka. As of the I have refused the money because it leaveside money for them to help in other wars? The money will now go to An organization each mo. Such as • Childs Welfare, fund, Reye's syndrome &
Fito. D i atth. to