I am able to contribute only modest amounts to the cultural and educational organizations that enrich our local environment. For the past six months, it has been the continued existence of our Philharmonic Orchestra that has worried a great many of us.
Recognizing that we live in a period when political candidates have made taxes a dirty word, I can understand and sympathize with the reluctance of our state, county and local governments to provide additional subsidies to these institutions.
My idea is this: The Philharmonic Orchestra could issue non-interest bearing bonds in denominations of $500 with a maturity of five years. The proceeds of the sale of these bonds would be invested in U.S. securities that would be redeemable any time after maturity.
The investment in government securities would guarantee the preservation of the capital and provide income to the orchestra. The purchasers of the bond would be sacrificing a portion of their liquidity for a minimum of five years, reducing their taxable incomes until they chose to redeem the bonds. They would, however, be helping to maintain the orchestra's financial integrity and preserving capital they might need in the future.
Losing the income on each bond would not constitute a great sacrifice. A total of 29,000 bonds sold in the Western New York area would generate over $1 million annually for the orchestra, assuming a 7 percent return on the U.S. securities.
It is my guess that there are a great many residents in this area who, like myself, want to help the orchestra but have somewhat limited incomes and savings and recognize that they may need this capital in the future. This would include retirees and those who are approaching retirement.
ROBERT H. HALE