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Corporations Should Step Up Support of NEA

Regarding the opinion-page articles ''Look for Creative Solutions to Fund Public Broadcasting'' and ''Let's Keep American Culture Endowed,'' March 13: Both authors have chosen to ignore the immense government financial subsidy of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through tax deductibility of private contributions to the broadcast and arts agencies.

The NEA has claimed there were private donations of $9 billion to arts groups last year. If you assume that donations from business and most private contributors are claimed as deductions on their federal and state tax reports, $2 to $3 billion in tax revenue is given up.

The direct appropriations from Congress are really small potatoes in the fund-raising plan of the arts, but it is a ''seal of approval'' for their arts efforts, and helps bring in more meaningful support.

If our corporations and population really value the efforts of CPB, NEA, and NEH, they will increase their contributions to make up for lost congressional largess -- as long as the contributions are tax deductible.

James H. McFarland

Okemos, Mich.

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