Allied Charities of Minnesota

News

  • 19 Mar 2020 16:38 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Pursuant to existing statutory authority and agency practice, the Minnesota Department of Revenue will grant a 30-day Lawful Gambling Tax extension upon request for payments due on Friday, March 20 if needed due to COVID-19.

    Businesses and non-profit organizations with a monthly Lawful Gambling Tax payment due March 20 that request an extension by March 27, will have until April 20 to make that payment. During this time the department will not assess penalties or interest. These customers should still file their return by March 20, if possible. If taxpayers cannot file on time, Revenue will allow a filing extension until April 20, if the request is received by Friday, March 27.

    At this time, the grace period for penalty and interest is only for the March 20 payment. Taxpayers can request additional relief from penalty and interest for reasonable cause after April 20.

    We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional information and guidance.

    Organizations can request extensions by email, fax or through secure message in e-Services. The request should include the organization’s name, address, federal and state tax ID numbers, license number and the month for which they are requesting an extension.

    Email: lawfulgambling.taxes@state.mn.us
    Fax: 651-297-5192
    Phone: 651-297-1772


  • 12 Mar 2020 13:07 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    On Tuesday, March 10 SF3469 and SF3628 were heard in the Senate State Government Finance and Policy and Elections committee.

    SF3469 would move all state mandates to LPE. Thanks to Senator Koran for his work on this.

    SF3628 would raise the external audit trigger from the current $750,000 to $1,250,000. I testified that since we pay back 85% of our sales to our patrons in prizes, $750,000 in sales for us is actually $112,500 that we get to the bank to pay expenses, taxes and make donations. Raising the number to $1,250,000 would mean that it would be $187,500 to pay expenses, taxes and make donations.  Geno Fragnito, CPA lobbyist and GCB board member, testified against raising the number, citing the importance of the external audit in identifying fraud. Thanks to Senator Rosen for her work on this.

    SF3628 had 5 amendments:

    A-1 states that a charitable organization cannot pay their GM more than the Governor ($130,000).

    A-2 states any salary in excess of $130,000 will not be counted towards LPE or AE.

    A-3 states a limit on the salary of a gambling manager (no amount given).

    A-4 states that an organization must submit to the GCB by February 1, of any year the amount of salary and benefits to anyone in the organization that is paid a salary.

    A-6 states that an organization that does not have at least 20% of LPE (minus the taxes and fees, A8 & A18) divided by Allowable Expenses will be placed on probation (i.e. charitable LPE & Other LPE divided by expenses to get your percentage). If an organization does not improve to the 20% in the following fiscal year their license may be suspended and/or may be fined up to $10,000. Taxes would no longer be part of the equation for figuring the star rating. See the attached pdf from the GCB (FY2019 by city) to figure your own percentage to see where you would fall.   

    Using the FY2019 numbers from the GCB website eight of the top 68 dollar grossing organizations would be on probation: Merrick Inc., Amvets Post #1 Mendota, South Robert Street Business Assoc., German Days Belle Plaine, St. Paul Fire, Cottage Grove Athletic Assoc., Forest Lake Athletic Assoc. and Fairmont Youth Hockey. These eight organizations paid a total $5.6 million in taxes in FY19 and had a total of $2.1 million available for donation. These eight organizations pay 2.6 times more in taxes than they have for donations.

    Both bills were held over for further consideration, no vote taken.

    If you wish to listen to the audio of the committee hearing, here is the link: http://mnsenate.granicus.com/player/clip/4880?view_id=2

    No news on a House tax bill. All tax bills must originate from the House. I still believe that there will be a tax bill, but this week Governor Walz stated that the surplus may be impacted by COVID-19. If the House does not submit a tax bill, there will be no relief for us this year.

    Attached are suggestions for dealing with COVID-19 in our sites.

    fy19-report-summary-by-city.pdf

    With the situation surrounding the Coronavirus.pdf

  • 02 Mar 2020 08:50 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    The hearing on the tribal petition regarding electronic pull tabs was held last Thursday, February 27. Both parties involved in the petition (Mdewakanton Sioux and the GCB) presented oral arguments to an administrative law judge. The hearing lasted two hours. The parties will now present written arguments to the judge and then be able to rebut the written arguments made by the other party. This process will take time. I do not think that we will hear a decision until late April or May.

    SF3628 is a bill that would raise the annual external audit trigger from the current $750,000 to $1,250,000. Chief Author is Sen. Rosen. Additional authors are Sen. Chamberlain, Sen. Ruud and Sen. Simonson. If any of them are your Senator, please thank them. All bills are posted on the ACM website under the News/Legislation tab.

    Also on Thursday, February 27 the state released their latest forecast. Reserves of $1.5 billion dollars are projected. Charities are not asking for any money back. We are asking that our tax rates be lowered moving forward to help ensure that we can keep being a safety net in our communities. We are in the Senate tax bill, which provides tax relief across the board for all charities. Senator Chamberlain, the Senate tax chair, is to be thanked for his support and leadership on this issue. The House tax bill is yet to be released. We need to be in that bill as well, in order to increase our chances for relief. Tell your Representative what your organization is paying in taxes and what relief would mean for your charity. It makes a difference.

     To find out who represents you, go to https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/ and type in your address. We need your help and their support to get relief done.

    Regards,

    Al Lund

  • 21 Feb 2020 07:58 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    In regards to our bill that calls for a time out if a site and charity cannot come to terms on parting ways. Representative Chris Swedzinksi has agreed to chief author our bill in the House. HF3469 is the House bill number. Senator Howe has agreed to chief author in the Senate. SF3428 is the Senate number. Ask your legislators to sign onto these bills. All bills will be posted to the ACM website @ www.alliedcharitiesmn.org under the News tab Legislation.

    In regards to our bill that would move the outside annual audit and GM bond state mandates from Allowable Expenses to Lawful Purpose. Representative Ron Kresha has agreed to chief author our bill in the House. HF3550 is the House number. Senator Koran has agreed to chief author in the Senate. SF3459 is the Senate number. Ask your legislators to sign onto these bills. All bills will be posted to the ACM website.

    Attached please find the Senate Republican’s plan for giving back to MN taxpayers. Charitable gaming relief is in the plan. Ask your Senator to support the plan.

    Region 4 Director Colleen Johnson has resigned from the ACM board. She cites personal issues as her reason for doing so. Region 4 encompasses Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stevens, Swift, Todd, and Traverse counties. Region 12 is also currently vacant. Region 12 encompasses Dakota, Goodhue, Scott, and Washington counties. Attached is a board member application. Serving on the ACM board is a great way to better understand the issues that charities face and to get to know others that serve. Nine meetings a year, eight of them in Roseville and the other one at convention. Expenses are reimbursed. The Region 4 term would be for two years and be up for election at the 2021 convention in St. Cloud. The Region 12 term would be for the remainder of this year and be up for election at the 2020 Duluth convention this November. Come and be part of great group.

    The DECC in Duluth is the site of our annual convention this coming November. On Thursday evening, November 19, Bentleyville will again be opening their doors for us ahead of their opening for the season. This is a big deal and a huge honor for charities. It is recognition of all the hard work that you folks do throughout the year. Mark your calendars!

    One final item. I have informed the ACM board that 2020 will be my last year with ACM. I am not under any pressure to leave, it is just time. Time for someone else to take on the role. I have informed the board that I am available through the end of the year. The board will now work to decide how to move forward and start to look for a replacement. I will always cherish the time that I got to spend with you. My biggest regret is that I was never able to get certain segments of state government to know you as I do; as selfless, caring individuals that have a passion to help those in need. It has been an honor and privilege to serve you these past eight years. I will keep you informed of updates as they become available.

    Regards,

    Al

    2020 ACM Interim Director Application 02202020.pdf

    2020senatereliefplan02202020.pdf

  • 14 Feb 2020 07:00 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    Attached please find an article that was printed in the StarTribune today. It was the front page lead story.

    After reading it I flashed back to my American Legion meeting last night in Osseo. At our meeting we approved 14 donations for a total of $23,790. Among them was money for college scholarships, a school district program for homeless students, Veteran’s homes in Minneapolis and Silver Bay, a homeless program for Mother’s and their children, Girl’s basketball, MN National Guard Youth Camp, students to attend Boy’s State, students to attend Legionville, a foundation for those with disabilities and the High School trap league. These donations will benefit hundreds of people.

    That was happening all across Minnesota last evening. On 260 weekdays a year our 1150 organizations are meeting to approve hundreds of thousands of donations that help our neighbors live better lives to the tune of $335,000 per day on each of those 260 days.

    This is what is at stake.

    One clarification that I would make is that charities are not looking at taking money out of the stadium fund. We are saying that with a $1.3 billion dollar surplus and a stadium fund estimated to have in excess of $250 million in a couple of years that there is more than enough money to give charities some much needed relief by lowering the amount of taxes that we pay moving forward.

    startribune02142020.pdf


  • 13 Feb 2020 13:19 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    The 2020 Legislative session has started. Updates on bills and hearings will be provided as they are available.

    All bills submitted from last session are still alive. We believe that if there is a tax bill that a charitable gaming tax reduction will be in play. The state has over a $1.3 billion surplus. Where the money comes from for relief for charities is not our call, it is the legislatures. If the relief suggested last year (11% reduction) had been enacted, charities would have still sent in more than the previous fiscal year as our taxes were up 18%. The state increased their take in FY19 by $14.7 million more than the previous fiscal year, which is over two times greater than the $6.7 million increase that charities garnered. How do you explain that the state increased their take by $8 million more than charities did to those in need in our communities? Let your legislators know that this needs to be addressed while there is a surplus and charities are more than paying their way. If you don’t speak up, neither will your legislators.

    The GCB has submitted a bill (HF3126, no Senate companion) that would have charities that are required to have the outside annual audit (sales of $750,000 in a fiscal year) submit to them an electronic copy of the audit. Currently the audit goes to MN Revenue.

    ACM has two initiatives in draft form. The first was suggested by an ACM member and would move the external audit and GM bond from allowable expense to lawful purpose. This would help with an organization’s star rating. The idea is that all state mandates be LPE as taxes and fees are today.  

    The second initiative would have a 60 day cooling off period if a site and charity cannot agree to part ways and the site terminates the charity. It was modeled after a current St. Paul ordinance that requires a one year hiatus for the site to have charitable gaming if the charity and site do not agree on parting ways and the site terminates the charity . ACM has been hearing from charities that sites are asking for more and more resources from organizations and if the organization balks, the site is terminating the charity. ACM recognizes that sites are a very important part of our ability to conduct charitable gaming, but the demands of the site cannot exceed the organizations ability and fiscal realities to comply. One year seemed too harsh, 60 days seems reasonable for a site to be without the ability to conduct charitable gaming if an organization is terminated without agreement.

    A hearing for the tribal petition in regards to electronic pull tabs is set for Thursday, February 27 at the office of administrative hearings in St. Paul. The hearing is open to the public.

    A New York state court of appeals has ruled that Fantasy Sports in that state are illegal gambling. Expect an appeal.

    Not directly related to gambling organizations, Rep. Bob Dettmer has submitted two bills that would exempt federally chartered veteran service organizations from paying property taxes on their buildings. HF3049 and HF3050 (no Senate companion) will be sent to the House Property Taxes committee.


  • 03 Jan 2020 10:20 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    Happy New Year to you all. 

    I received three calls yesterday from licensed organizations in regards to electronic POS systems logging out in five minutes if there is no activity. Below is the rule that covers this. We are told that the electronic manufacturers had not been in compliance and the GCB has recently told them that they needed to be.

    I had one organization tell me that a seller of theirs needed to log in 25 times during a recent shift. 

    We have spoken to the GCB about this, but they need to hear directly from you if you think that this is not a reasonable rule. The GCB can be reached at 651-539-1900.

    The GCB has replied to the Tribal Petition regarding electronic pull tab games. Their responses can be read on the ACM website at www.alliedcharitiesmn.org   The GCB believes that they did not exceed their authority in this case. Further developments will be posted on the ACM website as they become available.

    7864.0235

    Subp. 27. System access; password requirements.

    A. The manufacturer must maintain password access for the manufacturer; the distributor must maintain password access for the distributor; and the organization must maintain password access for the gambling manager and sellers.

    B. The operating system software and application software must have multiple security access levels to control and restrict different classes of access to the system. The accounts for the access levels must be unique when assigned to the authorized personnel and only one user per account is allowed.

    C. The manufacturer, the distributor, and the organization must register employees and volunteers with authorized system access with the board.

    D. The operating system software and application software must provide comprehensive password security or other secure means of ensuring data integrity and enforcing user permission. It is required that:….

    (4) the password must have a length of at least six alphanumeric characters; and

    (5) the system must automatically log out after a period of inactivity in excess of five minutes.

    Regards,

    Al


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