This is usually the time of year during which conservative politicians undertake a hypocritical pivot from their ideological crusade against all things public and pay a smidgen of lip service to the notion of helping out nonprofits who help people in need. You know how this goes: Day One though Nine – vote to slash Food Stamps and public assistance; Day Ten – appear at a press conference touting local food banks and rescue missions that struggle to feed the hungry.
This year, it appears the annual about-face will require an even higher degree of gymnastic skill. New analysis released today by the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits shows that the GOP tax bills making their way through Congress would prove hugely detrimental to charitable giving and “devastating” to the same nonprofit service agencies that conservative lawmakers will be touting next week. This is from a release distributed by the Center today:
Analysis Shows Negative Effects of Tax Reform Bills for the Work of North Carolina’s Nonprofits
RALEIGH – A new analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act indicates that several provisions of the congressional tax reform plans would make it harder for charitable nonprofits throughout North Carolina to provide critical services in their communities.
The analysis from the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits highlights the key nonprofit provisions in the tax reform bills that were approved yesterday by the full U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Among the concerns highlighted are:
- The changes to the individual income tax structure (House and Senate bills) would reduce charitable giving by between $12 billion and $20 billion every year;
- The potential to inject partisan politics into the work of 501(c)(3) organizations (House bill) would damage the public’s trust in churches, nonprofits, and foundations;
- The elimination of a key financing option for private nonprofits (House bill) would make it harder for many nonprofits to expand their operations; and
- The imposition of new taxes on some tax-exempt organizations to pay for tax cuts (House and Senate bills) would take resources away from nonprofits’ work in communities across the state.
These and other challenges are outlined in the Center’s comparison of nonprofit provisions in the House and Senate tax plans.
“The tax reform proposals, as currently written in both the House and Senate, would be devastating for nonprofits throughout North Carolina and to the communities they serve,” said David Heinen, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy at the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. “Both proposals would lead to a sharp reduction in charitable giving because only about five percent of North Carolinians would be eligible for the charitable deduction. Furthermore, the weakening of the Johnson Amendment in the House bill could destroy the public’s trust in nonprofits’ work if 501(c)(3) nonprofits are allowed to become known as Democratic charities and Republican charities rather than the nonpartisan problem solvers that they are today.”