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November/December 2001

What a year for tax planning and especially year-end tax planning!

The 2001 Tax Act provides for an across-the-board reduction in individual income tax rates. This is important news because for most taxpayers, individual income taxes are at their highest levels in 2001 because of the phase-in of many tax relief measures. For most taxpayers, this means they should implement strategies to increase deductions in 2001, while (when possible) deferring income until 2002.

If you can benefit from additional charitable deductions read on!

For example: If you are in a 31% income tax bracket in 2001, and you itemize your deductions, a $1,000 gift to us by December 31 will save you $310 in 2001 taxes.

Year-end tax planning is of crucial importance for 2001. This newsletter highlights just some of the ways you might be able to reduce your income tax liability. Remember, not all of the particulars for your situation are covered in this newsletter. Please make good use of the income tax charitable deductions with the help of your accountant or other professional advisor.

Your 2001 year-end gift can significantly reduce your income taxes, while providing meaningful support for the Nebraska State Historical Society. The charitable gifts you make now could leave you much better off come April 15, 2002. The amount of income tax savings will depend on your tax bracket.

Other Reasons for Giving

Giving is, of course, much more than tax brackets and charitable deductions. Your gifts to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation make an important difference in preserving and sharing Nebraska's rich history.

Private funding makes it possible to enhance and expand projects and programs developed by the Nebraska State Historical Society to increase the understanding and appreciation of our state's history.

Foundation Helps Preserve Priceless Lincoln Document

Abraham Lincoln Document It was a mundane task, a bureaucratic responsibility required of the office of the President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln signed a document continuing the appointment of Alvin Saunders as governor of Nebraska Territory. It was a preprinted form, with blanks filled with neat handwriting. Though dated April 13, 1865, a clerk told Governor Saunders that Lincoln signed the document the next day, just before leaving his office to attend a play. Almost certainly this was President Lincoln's last official signature, and therefore his last official act. That evening he fell to an assassin's bullet.

As governor, Saunders shepherded the territory through the conflagration of the Civil War and saw Nebraska become a state. Thus this document has immeasurable significance for both state and national history. For years it has been proudly displayed at the Museum of Nebraska History. In 1999, Ronna Rivers, then paper conservator at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, observed that even minimal exposure to light was causing irreparable damage to this important document; it simply had to come off display.

With support from the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation, the Nebraska State Historical Society created a digital imaging laboratory at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha. This facility allows scans of the highest quality to be made of historical and artistic works without damaging them. These scans can then create near-perfect reproductions of the originals. This singular document was scanned, and a copy displayed in its place, allowing the priceless original to be preserved for generations to come. Supporting this kind of technology is one of the important functions shouldered by the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation.

With Gifts of Stock You Could Avoid Capital Gains

If you own stock, it is almost always to your advantage taxwise to contribute stock rather than cash because a gift of appreciated stock generally offers two-fold tax savings.

First, you avoid paying capital gains tax on the increase in value of the stock. Second, you receive an income tax charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the stock at the time of the gift.

For example: If you purchased stock many years ago for $1,000, and it is now worth $10,000, an outright gift of the stock to us would result in a charitable contribution deduction of $10,000. In addition, you would pay no capital gains tax on the $9,000 of appreciation as long as you have owned the stock for a "long-term" period, generally more than one year.

As with a gift of cash, your gift of stock should be postmarked by December 31. Gifts of appreciated stock are fully deductible up to a maximum of 30% of your adjusted gross income.

Gifts of Cash: Important to Supporting our Mission,
An Easy Way to Reduce Your Tax Liability

If you itemize, you can lower your 2001 income taxes simply by making a gift to us with a check by December 31. There is no easier way to receive a 2001 year-end charitable deduction! If your envelope is postmarked by December 31, your gift will qualify as a 2001 gift even if it is not received by us until the first week of 2002.

Foundation Board of Directors

James W. Hewitt, Lincoln, President
Allison D. Petersen, Walton, Executive Vice President
Joanne F. Shephard, Valentine, Secretary
Robert D. Northrop, Lincoln, Treasurer
Jack D. Campbell, Lincoln
Thomas Creigh, Jr., Hastings
Sharon D. Davis, Omaha
Martha A. Greer, Lincoln
Diane N. "Diny" Landen, Omaha
Dr. Frederick C. Luebke, Lincoln
Lu Marcotte, Nebraska City
Dr. Martin A. Massengale, Lincoln
John D. Massey, Scottsbluff
George H. Moyer, Jr., Madison
James F. Nissen, Lincoln
Cynthia Olson, Lisco
Amy Scott-Willer, Omaha
John W. Webster, Omaha
S. N. "Bud" Wolbach, Grand Island
Dr. John Wunder, Lincoln

Dorothy G. Hevelone, Beatrice, Director Emeritus

Lawrence J. Sommer, Lincoln, NSHS Director, Ex-offico
Dr. Sara Crook, Peru, NSHS President, Ex-officio
James Denney, Omaha, NSHS Treasurer, Ex-officio


Jackie Spahn, Executive Director
Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation
408 Lincoln Center Building
215 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68508-1813

Ph: 402-435-3535
Fax: 402-435-3986



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Last updated 15 October 2001

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