Local institutions gain from gifts in conjunction with the TrustBusiness writers and accountants tell us that it's time to plan for the tax season. With that in mind, Oregonians should not forget the tax credit that is available through the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski recently told the editorial board of The Oregonian that one of the least noticed accomplishments of the Oregon Legislature was keeping arts and culture alive. The Oregon Cultural Trust, the proudest accomplishment of the 2001 legislature, is still in business. In order to survive, the trust was moved to the Oregon Arts Commission in order to create efficiencies.

With a very short campaign in 2002, the trust received contributions from some 4,200 individuals and companies. The trust awarded grants to all parts of the state.

Between now and the end of 2003, individuals may receive a $500 tax credit for making gifts to the trust and an identical gift to another arts or culture organization. Couples filing jointly may receive a $1,000 tax credit. Institutions that qualify for these gifts include organizations such as the Coaster Theater, the Seaside Museum and Historical Society, the Clatsop County Historical Society or the River Theater.

The Oregon Cultural Trust has gained national attention as a good working model for how to build an endowment for arts and culture institutions. As you look toward year's end, consider two gifts: To a local arts and culture institution and to the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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