We got an early Christmas present this week from none other than the Internal Revenue Service.

In a letter dated Dec. 17, the IRS let us know they’ve determined Foothills Forum qualifies once again as a tax-exempt public charity. The ruling is retroactive, which means all past and future donors to the Rappahannock-based nonprofit can deduct their contributions. It also means we’re eligible, as before, to receive tax-deductible bequests and other gifts as a tax-exempt public charity under the Internal Revenue Code.

The news allows us to assure those of you who cared about Rappahannock and its future by donating that you needn’t make year-end adjustments in your tax planning.

Foothills Forum will roll into 2016 continuing to address your desire for more fact-based, in-depth research and reporting on the issues you care about. We’re eager to learn, along with you, what you collectively had to say in answering the Foothills Forum Survey, now in the hands of the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research. We anticipate preliminary findings early in the new year.

This week’s IRS ruling closes a brief episode in an otherwise good year. We’ve learned from it. We thank in particular Anne Robertson and Mary Frances leMat for their diligent efforts on this. And I want to thank our hard-working directors, advisors, donors and sustainers for their patience and their continued commitment to our county’s bright future.