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PNS Daily Newscast - December 12, 2018 


Trump clashes with Democrats and threatens a government shutdown if he doesn’t get his border wall. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Lawmakers agree on an $867-billion Farm Bill; and a new report finds private community correction centers failing to rehabilitate people who live there.

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Donation Dollars Lend a Hand to Fellow Oregonians

PHOTO: With the investment and support of the Oregon IDA Initiative, Guadalupe and Antonio Avila-Guzmanís family have achieved their dream of owning a home in North Portlandís Portsmouth neighborhood.
PHOTO: With the investment and support of the Oregon IDA Initiative, Guadalupe and Antonio Avila-Guzmanís family have achieved their dream of owning a home in North Portlandís Portsmouth neighborhood.
December 17, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - There's one end-of-year gift idea that does double duty in Oregon. Donations to the Oregon Individual Development Account Initiative (IDA) mean lower state taxes for the donor - and more money for the program to use to match the savings of lower-income Oregonians. IDA participants set goals of a home, higher education or a small-business asset, and then learn how to budget and save to reach them.

Roseburg tax preparer Candace Courson likes the IDA's emphasis on financial fitness and savings - skills she thinks are in short supply at all income levels.

"This Individual Development Account allows an individual with a lower income to actually accumulate money. Therefore, they feel good about themselves. The skills that they learn keep going with them, stay with them."

A goal of the Oregon IDA Initiative is to build a stronger middle class. Research shows three in 10 Oregonians don't have enough savings to get by for three months in case of a job loss or emergency. This year, almost 2,900 Oregonians are participating in the IDA Initiative, saving for their goals.

Portland CPA Jim Flad says when a client is looking for a charitable donation idea, he often steers them to this one, as a way to keep the money local and helping Oregonians.

"Most people, I have them go online, have 'em take a look at what the money is spent for. But what happens after the first time the person's been in it? IDA is really good at, 'Here's where your money went.' I never have to ask those people the second time - they do it automatically."

Courson points out that at income tax time, there are benefits for both donors and recipients.

"The people who contribute to it are actually given a credit that is subtracted from their tax liability. So, in the long run, it's a better credit for them. The people who participate in the program also benefit because they can save this money, and they're not taxed on it."

Donations have to be made by Dec. 31 to be counted in the 2012 tax year. Just over 1,100 people have graduated from the program since 2008, saving a total of about $2 million to finance their dreams.

More information is online at www.oregonidainitiative.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR