Minnesota Congressional Delegation Asked Step Up for Philanthropy

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Nearly 250 grantmakers from around the country participated in Foundations on the Hill in Washington, D.C. March 12 through 14.  MCF was there.  We called upon members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation to (a) oppose repeal of the Johnson Amendment, (b) sign on as co-authors of the CHARITY Act (S.1343 / H.R.2916), and (c) sign on as co-authors of bills to establish a universal charity deduction (S.2123 / H.R.3988).  We also discussed funding for the census and our oppose inclusion of a citizenship question.

Members seem willing to consider signing on to the CHARITY Act.  In addition to other small reforms, the bill simplifies the private foundation excise tax and authorizes IRA rollover assignments to community foundation donor advised funds. There is a reasonable possibility that this bill can be folded into the FY2019 budget bill which should be approved in September. It would be helpful to offer encouragement to Minnesota’s representatives in Congress to get behind the bill whenever you have a chance.  You can also contact them by email or phone.

The universal deduction is more of a long term thing. It is not going to pass this year. But, the time is now to talk about it. The independent sector was not really ready to effectively advocate for the universal deduction during last year’s debate over the tax bill; it was put out there primarily as a defensive talking point against efforts to repeal or weaken the charitable giving tax deduction.  Well, that didn’t work!  Advocates are now looking at creating the opportunity for the universal deduction to get more full and serious consideration when Congress takes up acting on a “corrections bill” to address problems with the 2017 tax bill; something expected within the coming year, or two