Head of Federal Reserves urges to find way to avoid fiscal cliff

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The head of the Federal Reserve urged Congress and the Obama administration on Tuesday to find a way to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Ben Bernanke said the tax increases and spending cuts could trigger another recession.

Some charities in the Charlotte area are worried about the possible effects on them.

Annabelle Suddreth, the executive director of A Child's Place, said that individuals account for 27 percent of their donations.

She's concerned that lawmakers' attempts to reach a debt reduction deal and avoid the fiscal cliff could take money out of donors' pockets and away from their efforts to help homeless children.

"It is critical to us that people continue to keep giving," Suddreth said.

Lawmakers have discussed capping the amount people can write off in their taxes for giving to charity or even getting rid of those deductions altogether as a method of gaining revenue.

If they don't reach a deal by January, a slew of tax breaks are set to expire.

According to the Tax Policy Center, the average family would pay an extra $3,500 per year.

Suddreth said either way, their donors will be affected.

"It's not likely that everyone is going to be ale to give at the same level they're giving now," she said.

But Bruce Johnson with SIM USA, a nonprofit  that supports missionaries across the world, said donors have been committed throughout the recession.

"I think that will continue," he said. "We fully expect to see this resolved and not fall off the cliff."

Eyewitness News asked people if they will change their giving habits if charitable deductions are reduced or taxes go up.

"I would have to say it's probably going to affect how much I give, a little bit," Jane Gatling said.

Noele Roth said she will donate the same amount even if taxes increase.

"That isn't going to change what I want to do for others," she said.