Dear Representative ____________________________ :

I am writing to ask you to support the the "Artists' Contribution to American Heritage Act" (HR 3249).

This amendment to the tax code is important to me as an artist. Under current law, when I donate original artwork, I can only deduct the cost of materials used to create the work- a nominal deduction at best. Prior to 1969, artists were permitted to take a fair market value deduction for their donated original works. But that year Congress changed the law, giving fair market value deductions to art collectors only. Since then, there has been a sharp decline in the donation of works to public institutions.

Changing the current law will once again encourage the donation of original works by artists, writers, and composers to museums, non-profit organizations, and other public institutions. Allowing creators themselves to take a fair market value deduction will create an incentive for them to donate artistic works and will ensure the American public has access to these works.

This bill contains safeguards to prevent the inflation of fair market value. It requires that the receiving institution certify that it intends to put the work to use and that the fair market value can only be deducted from the portion of the artist's income that has come from the sale of similar works or related activities.

I urge you to support this bill.