Ventura Plan Threatens Tax-Exempt Status of Nonprofits

January 29, 2001

Nonprofits to Hold Meeting in Twin Cities
Senate Committee to Hold Public Hearings Around the State
BACKGROUND: Governor Ventura’s tax proposal includes provisions that pose a serious threat to the tax-exempt status of nonprofits. These proposals will take away resources needed for programs and services.

A. New sales tax:
The Governor’s proposal says sales by nonprofits would be subject to the sales tax with the following exception: the first $25,000 of taxable sales in a calendar year by 501(c)(3), civic, fraternal, senior citizens and veterans organizations, and K-12 school student groups would be exempt from the sales tax. This is a new tax on sales and includes ticket sales to cultural events and fundraisers.

B. New property tax:
The Governor’s property tax proposal includes a local option for cities to require nonprofits to pay a tax, called a “local option public safety fee.” This tax would be based on the market value of the property owned by a nonprofit, the local tax rate, and the percentage of the city’s budget that is public safety. Only religious sanctuaries, schools and hospitals would be exempt.

1. LEARN MORE: The Minnesota Council of NonProfits is Holding a Nonprofit tax and Budget issues Briefing & Strategy Session, Tuesday, January 30, 2001, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., at the International Institute, Hall of Nations 1694 Como Avenue, St. Paul — Parking and event are free! Department of Revenue staff will be there to answer questions about the tax proposals. Nonprofit advocates will provide overviews of budget proposals for arts, education, welfare reform, workforce development, health, childcare, and more. Bring your announcements and ideas to share as we identify impacts of the Governor’s proposals and shape strategies for responding.

2. ACT NOW AND SPEAK OUT: Participate in Senate Income and Sales Tax Budget Division Hearings: Invite your organization’s supporters to attend. Speak out about how the sales tax will redirect charitable contributions, divert resources from your programs and services, and erode your organization’s tax-exempt status.

Eagle Lake: February 1, 7 p.m., American Legion, 100 3rd St N. Call 507-257-3130 for more information or to register to testify
Anoka: February 6, 7 p.m., Anoka County Government Building, 3100 3rd Ave. Call 763-323-5705 for more information or to register to testify
Hibbing: February 7, 7 p.m., Memorial Building, 400 East 23rd St. Call 218-262-3486 for more information or to register to testify
Call and write to your own legislators and let them know that you oppose new taxes on nonprofits.