WATTS' faith-based bill passes House committee

Thursday, July 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A bill by U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts that would provide tax breaks to encourage more individual and corporate donations passed a House committee on Wednesday.

The tax provisions, which would cost $13.2 billion over 10 years, cleared the Ways and Means Committee and will go to the full House.

Earlier, Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., scaled back the tax breaks in the measure from ones that would have cost $55 billion.

After the committee action, Watts, R-Okla., said he was confident his Community Solutions Act would clear the House and be sent to the Senate next month.

Under the bill, taxpayers who don't itemize deductions could begin to deduct relatively small donations. Starting next year, single taxpayers would receive a maximum deduction of $25, while couples filing jointly would receive $50 deductions.

Rep. Wes Watkins, R-Okla., a committee member, lauded provisions that increase the amount corporations can deduct for charitable contributions.

``This is the key thing,'' Watkins said. ``Corporate America will be giving more.''