Good News: The proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment is excluded from the final tax bill. The Senate Parliamentarian excluded the provision because it violated the Senate rules for the bill. Throughout the last year, voices on behalf of the nonprofit and faith communities were heard, and our focused effort really made a difference in raising public awareness about the potential harm caused by repeal. We are proud of the active role Washington Nonprofits and all of you played.
Bad News: There are number of other provisions in the tax bill that are devastating for our work. According to an analysis from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee Democrats, the tax reform bill places $285 million in annual charitable giving in Washington State at risk because of the bill’s doubling of the standard deduction, which reduces the number of taxpayers who can receive a benefit for their charitable contributions. The remedy to this would have been the inclusion of a Universal Non-Itemizer Charitable Deduction, which was not included in the bill.
Government investments in domestic programs like human services, arts, education, and environmental stewardship—work that is often accomplished in partnership with nonprofits—will decline sharply as monies are diverted to pay for tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. So, this tax bill is still not acceptable for the nonprofit community, and we need to continue to fight against it. Please read on for additional info about how you can act.
The tax reform bill that the U.S. House and Senate will vote on this week will harm the ability of charitable nonprofits like to address needs in communities and advance our missions. We need you to take action now to urge our Representatives and Senators to Kill the Bill and Start Over.
The consequences of the tax bill will be devastating to the millions of people around the country who rely on charitable nonprofits and foundations for everything from food and shelter to faith-based sanctuaries and job training to a safe place to escape domestic abuse and enrichment through the arts. By necessity, spending cuts will be the immediate result of the enormous tax cuts, ensuring that nonprofit organizations that already have been stretched too far are simply going to have to turn people away, discontinue vital programs, and even close their doors entirely. All of these are the foreseeable results of a bill that adds more than a trillion dollars to the federal deficit while undermining incentives for giving back to the work of charitable nonprofits in our communities.
Every person committed to the mission of a charitable nonprofit needs to make Congress know the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act harms the people we serve and the ability of organizations dedicated to the public good to address community needs. We urge you to immediately take these steps.
Step One: Call your Representative and our Senators and deliver this important message (Phone Numbers Here):
“I am a constituent and I stand with charitable nonprofits across the country in opposing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill hurts nonprofits and the people we serve, and is a setback for our community. Vote No on the tax bill!
Step Two: Send tweets (Twitter Handles Here). Make use of those 280 characters to let them know how the tax bill would hinder your organization’s ability to serve the community and advance its mission. Include the period at the start to send directly to your elected officials. Here are some sample tweets:
.[Representative/Senator twitter handle] I stand with charitable nonprofits across the country in opposing the #taxreform bill. The bill hurts #nonprofits and the people we serve, and is a setback for our community. Vote No on the tax bill!
.[Representative/Senator twitter handle] The #taxreform bill harms #nonprofits and communities across Washington State. Vote No on the tax bill!
.[Representative/Senator twitter handle] I’m a constituent and I oppose the #taxreform bill because it harms the sustainability of nonprofits doing great work in our community. Please vote No on the tax bill!
Step Three: Forward this action alert to anyone who supports the work of charitable nonprofits that serve communities across Washington State. We need as many voices as possible to call on Congress to stop the tax reform bill. You can also download and customize this template for sending through your organization’s email system.
As tax reform continues to work its way through Congress, you can stay current by subscribing to Washington Nonprofits’ Public Policy and Advocacy email list and following @WANonprofits, @NatlCouncilNPs, and @IndSector on Twitter.