That is great ... on several levels. First of all, on a personal level, I had no idea she was at that stage in her life. Congratulations are definitely in order! The amazing and gratifying part, for me, is that she is not only aware of the project, but is "up to speed" on the progress, and is actually in need of the facility. I applaud her astuteness and her positive outlook in believing that the center/museum is more of a reality than a dream.
By the way, I told her I would pass on the request to the proper channels and that her name would go on the list.
Realistically, we have no edifice to "book." But the Vision is not only alive and well but it has become a reality ... at least in many minds.
The truth is that the time table for groundbreaking is the spring of 2007. We are well on our way to making that projected date a firm one. As I have reported to you, pledges and contributions have been coming in at a gratifying pace. This continues to be the case, but we are not "there" yet. In today's column, I am going to try to explain (in terms even I can understand) how the NAP ... Neighborhood Assistance Program ... credits program can help all of us who are giving. I think you will have to agree that it seems almost too good to be true!
The individuals who worked so hard to apply for the NAP credits must be hailed as hard workers and forward-thinking people who saw the chance to enable the contributors to this project to benefit from their generosity. The process of applying is difficult and the chance of being accepted is slim. To be accepted is to say that the state of Missouri is convinced that your project is sound, well-thought-out and very worthwhile. Yes, it is!
In addition, the project has also been approved for 501c (3) status by the Internal Revenue Service. This, too, is the result of much work and planning. What this means to you and me is that our contributions qualify as charitable donations. If you are itemizing on your tax return then you can claim the amount contributed as a tax deduction.
The NAP program essentially allows the taxpayer to designate where he or she wants his or her tax money to go. Under the credit plan for which the center/museum has been approved (a 70 percent recipient ... the BEST level that can be attained), it breaks down like this:
For a $1,000 donation:
First of all, because of the organization's 501c(3) status, a federal charitable deduction leads to a state charitable deduction. At the 15 percent tax rate bracket, the contributor will save $150 in federal tax and $60 at the state level. In the highest 35 percent bracket, $350 will be saved at the federal level and again, $60 at the state level.
The second phase of the savings on taxes kicks in with the NAP credits. Because of this, on a $1,000 contribution, the individual saves $700 in the form of a state income tax credit.
So, with a combination of the two tax benefits, a charitable deduction and the NAP credit ... the total tax savings is $910 for an individual in the 15 percent tax bracket, and $1,110 for someone in the 35 percent tax bracket.
There is a limit to the NAP benefit ... only $500,000 of contributions will be accepted by the state of Missouri for the NAP credit. However, all contributions will be allowable as a charitable deduction for federal and state income tax purposes.
I hope this helps to shed some light on the process. Please come in to headquarters, on the east side of the square for more information. Remember, your contributions are what are going to make this Vision become a reality. With your monetary commitment you can help the Project and help yourself at the same time.
Check this out ...
I am beginning to think that I should go out of town more often! Also, while reading my mail that arrived while I was basking on the beach, I was happy to see a letter from my friends Ray and Helen Merrell who live in Liberty. I made their acquaintance through my interest in the North Platte Canteen book and PBS presentation. Anyway, Ray was born and raised in Marshall. He was commenting on the column I am writing and went on to say that he has vivid memories of his family going to the air field to watch the Nicholas/Beazley Flight School planes go about their antics. He remarked that in 1928, planes and flying were certainly rare and of the utmost interest ... especially to a young boy, I would imagine. Well, for my next column, I plan to interview Ray and others who remember Marshall's flying history first hand and let you know what they have to say. This should be great!
Building the Vision appears on Wednesday.