Allied Charities of Minnesota

News

  • 19 Jul 2017 08:54 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    Details are not yet fully in, but indications are that on June 30, 2017 Charitable Gaming in Minnesota crossed the Rubicon.  Reports are that in fiscal year 2017 sales were up 12%, but taxes were up 16%.  As a result, more money went to the state than there was for local needs.

    Born in 1945 to raise funds for church and community needs by conducting bingo (mostly in church basements and at county fairs) it culminated in 2017 with the strangling of the golden goose. 

    It was a good run, but at the conclusion of fiscal year 2017 Charitable Gaming paid more in taxes to the state of MN than it had for communities and missions. 

    The post mortem will continue, but all indications are that there were two contributing factors.  The 2012 stadium bill that made millionaire professional football team owners into billionaire professional football team owners at the expense of Minnesota communities and a seemingly insatiable appetite by the state for increased tax revenue at the expense of community based non-profit groups.

    Charitable Gaming will now be known as The State of MN Charity.  Details are yet to be worked out, but beneficiaries of past charitable donations will need to go to St. Paul to ask for help.

    In lieu of flowers relatives ask that you not send any money to the state.  A memorial service will be held sometime in the future, details to follow.   


  • 30 Jun 2017 10:52 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    I wanted to relate something to you that has been troubling me.  In the not too distant past I had two legislators tell me that they would like to better understand what charitable gaming organizations do with the money that we raise.  The first time this was said to me I thought it was an honest request for more information.  The second time I realized that it was not an isolated incident, but something that must be being circulating at the legislature. 

    I believe that the people that do not want any change in the status quo for licensed charitable gaming organizations are planting seeds of doubt as to whether or not we are being good stewards of the money that we raise.  They are doing this by talking about our seventh consecutive fiscal year dollar sales increase (I can’t understand why they constantly complain when their sales just keep going up.).  Talking about how few of us are paying the high taxes (Really only a small percentage of them pay the high taxes.).  Talking about how qualified 501’s can transfer funds (Did you know that some of them pay themselves?).  Talking about pay (Did you know that there are gambling managers who actually get paid?).  All of this is designed to negate/counter our concerns over how we are treated by the state. 

    The message that I want to leave with you today is this:  WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING THAT IS NOT EXPRESSLY APPROVED IN RULE OR STATUTE.  Contrast that with MN Lottery operating under the assumption that they can do anything not expressly prohibited in statute.  If the state does not like a provision that we currently operate under they can work to change that, but people need to stop making it seem like we are making it up as we go along.  There is NO ONE that would trade with us for our laws, regulations or tax structure.  Just ask the for-profit gambling competitors if they would and see what they say.

    I could take (NOT ACCEPT) the state telling us that there will be no tax relief, that we will just have to come to grips with paying for the stadium for the next 25 years.  Better that than implying that we are operating in a gray area, on the fringes of society and that is why no changes will be forthcoming for us.

    I have sent the donations that were made in the legislator’s districts to the legislators in question.  The lists impressed me greatly.  The work that you folks do for little or no pay and even less recognition is in my eyes amazing.  If you have not already done so, share your 2016 donations with your legislators.  What we do and how we do it is not easily explained to those unfamiliar with charitable gaming, it takes time and effort.  Legislators need to fully understand that you and your organizations are assets to your community and to the state, not liabilities.  Do not apologize for what you do to help your communities or missions.  If we do not stand up and defend what we do, it will someday be taken from us. 

    There is nobody that can tell your organization’s story better than you can.  Do it for your organization, your community and yourself.  Do it today. 

    Regards,

    Al


  • 27 Jun 2017 09:00 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    ACM has long believed that having only one lease agreement with the distributor for e-tabs and paying sales tax on that full amount is wrong. We have drafted two agreements, one that deals with the lease of the equipment (which sales tax will be collected on) and one that deals with the revenue sharing (which sales tax will not be collected on).  We left the amounts for both of those blank, that is between you and your distributor. Below are the two agreements.  Use these as you see fit.

    ACM-AGREEMENT for electronic pulltab games V.3[1] (3).pdf

    ACM-LEASE AGREEMENT FOR ELECTRONIC PULL Tabs (4).pdf


  • 02 Jun 2017 10:27 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    This article was written by Al Lund and originally appeared in the Rochester Post Bulletin on May 31, 2017.

    Toward the end of the 2017 legislative session, a seven-page bill (House File 1415) legalizing the online daily fantasy sports business was heard in committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The bill also licenses, regulates and taxes for-profit companies such as Fan Duel and Draft Kings. All in the space of seven pages.

    By comparison, Minnesota's community-based, non-profit charitable gaming organizations -- the operators of bingo, raffles and pull tab games that invest directly in their local communities -- have at least 200 pages of statutes and rules that regulate everything they do.

    The organizations that the Legislature believes need more regulation than the secretive, billion-dollar fantasy sports enterprises include groups like the Rochester American Legion Post 92. This nonprofit raises funds for local missions like youth baseball and hockey programs, Boy and Girl Scouts troops and high school graduation parties

    In addition to the excessive regulation, the Rochester American Legion is taxed at a rate of over 27 percent and paid more than $33,235 more in taxes to the state than they were able to donate to their mission.

    The Rochester American Legion Post 92 is only one of many organizations working throughout Southeast Minnesota to make our communities better places to live and work – all at no cost to taxpayers.

    The Legislature's treatment of the Legion and similar groups is unfair and here's why:

    Charitable gaming is not against competition or afraid of competition, but a leveling of the playing field is needed. Giving the keys to the state to for-profit competitors that only take is hard to understand and even harder to stomach.

    Fantasy sports will be the fourth group of for-profit direct competitors to charitable gaming (card rooms, horse racing and casinos being the other three). They are all being regulated and taxed

    at a fraction of charitable gaming. We would take their deal in a heartbeat.

    These other gaming organizations are taxed at only the corporate rate of 9.5 percent. If charitable gaming organizations had that rate, we would have had another $35 million to help our communities and missions. Charities are paying up to seven times the rate of their for-profit

    competition. That is an insult to everything that we do and stand for.

    The two behemoths in daily fantasy sports, Fan Duel and Draft Kings, have not paid any tax or provided any social benefits to Minnesota in the five years that they have been in business. Charitable gaming is paying $60 million in taxes this fiscal year and putting another $60 million into our communities. Add to that the fact that we are employing thousands of people and paying $25 million in local rents, helping to keep our sites in business.

    The daily fantasy sports bill was abruptly pulled by its authors before the end of session, keeping the games legal and operating with even less regulation than outlined in the bill. The issue is all but certain to come up again in future legislative sessions.

    Between now and February 2018 when the Legislature re-convenes, we will be talking to Minnesotans about the importance of tax and regulation relief for charitable gaming organizations. The current structure of community charities paying 36 percent in order to pay for the billion-dollar NFL stadium while fantasy sports and other forms of gaming in Minnesota enjoy a tax rate of less than 10 percent does not sit well with many Minnesotans. Many communities across the

    state are already feeling the effects as charities are forced to turn down local grants to pay their tax bill.

    What our members are asking for is simple: either treat for-profit gaming companies like us, or treat us like everybody else.

    "Something has to change," said Roger Vangness, Legion Post 92 gambling manager. "We didn't get into charitable gaming to be a revenue stream for the state. We want to help our

    community."


  • 23 May 2017 14:41 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    This article originally appeared in the Fargo Forum on May 22, 2017. View the original article here.

    A bill (H.F. 1415) licensing and regulating Daily Fantasy Sports (Fan Duel, Draft Kings and others) recently was heard in committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The legislation is seven pages.

    By comparison, Minnesota's community-based, non-profit charitable gaming organizations - the operators of bingo, raffles and pull tab games that invest directly in their local communities - have at least 200 pages of statutes and rules that regulate everything they do.

    The organizations the Legislature believes need more regulation than the secretive, billion-dollar fantasy sports industry include Moorhead Youth Hockey Association, a group raising money to make the expensive sport of hockey affordable for local kids.

    In addition to the excessive regulation, Moorhead Hockey is taxed at a rate of 30 percent and now pays $53,036 more in taxes to the state than it is able to spend on its core charitable mission. The Legislature's treatment of the Moorhead Youth Hockey Association and other non-profit charities working to make our communities better places to live and work is unfair and here's why: Fantasy sports will be the fourth group of for-profit direct competitors to charitable gaming (card rooms, horse racing and casinos being the other three). They are all being regulated and taxed at a fraction of charitable gaming. We would take their deal in a heartbeat. These other gaming organizations are taxed at only the corporate rate of 9.5 percent. If charitable gaming organizations had that rate, we would have had another $35 million to help our communities and missions. Charities are paying up to seven times the rate of their for-profit competition. That is an insult to everything that we do and stand for.

    The two behemoths in daily fantasy sports, Fan Duel and Draft Kings, have not paid any tax or provided any social benefits to Minnesota. Charitable gaming is paying $60 million in taxes this fiscal year and putting another $60 million into our communities. Add to that the fact that we are employing thousands of people and paying $25 million in local rents, helping to keep our sites in business.

    Allied Charities of Minnesota, the organization representing charitable gaming, supported legislation in this year's session to provide relief to charities. The bill stalled with no sign of resuscitation. Despite a $1.6 billion state surplus, a bipartisan agreement on the need for tax reform for over-burdened groups and a clear message from the 2016 elections that voters in Greater Minnesota are feeling left behind, most legislators refused to even listen to us.

    Perhaps the greatest irony and slap in the face is that community-based charities are paying tax rates of up to 36 percent in order to pay for the billion-dollar NFL stadium. Meanwhile, fantasy sports couldn't exist without taxpayer-funded stadiums and ship all the benefits out of state.

    We're not giving up. ACM plans to redouble its efforts in the coming legislative sessions to gain regulatory and tax relief for charities. We hope everyone who cares about the future vitality of Moorhead will urge their legislators to support us.

    Lund is executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota


  • 18 May 2017 21:42 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    This article originally appeared on WJON on May 18, 2017.

    MAY 18 – When you spend time playing pull tabs, bingo, and meat raffles a big chunk of the money you spend is going to the state, not the charity you’re there to support.

    Al Lund is the executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota. He says charitable gaming has been left out of any kind of tax relief for this legislative session.

    Minnesota taxes charitable gambling at 36 percent, far higher than the next closest state of North Dakota’s 10 percent.

    This was never intended to be a boon to the state. Charitable gaming was intended to benefit our local communities. We have 200 charities now, out of 1,200 that conduct charitable gaming, that are sending more to the state than they do for their communities and their missions.  We believe in our heart of hearts that is wrong.

    He says North Dakota charges only 10 percent as their top tax rate.  He says they would take that deal.

    One of their other issues is the competitors in gambling in Minnesota – horse racing, casinos, and card rooms – pay the corporate tax rate, even though they are for-profit companies. That corporate tax rate is 9 1/2 percent.

    Lund says, in Minnesota, for every dollar spent on charitable gaming .50 cents goes to expenses, .36 cents is paid in state taxes, and that leaves .14 cents left for donations to local communities.

    The current tax structure was put into effect in 2012.

    Lund says they have about three of their member organizations quit doing charitable gambling each month, because they’re paying more to the state than their community.

    Deb Fischer from the Central Minnesota Noon Optimist Club says last month, after prizes and expenses, her organization gave about $1,800 to charity and paid nearly $10,000 in state taxes.  Fischer says their club runs pulls tabs, bingo, and meat raffles at six bars and one gas station. Their mission is about helping kids.



    Read More: Charitable Gaming: 36 Percent State Tax Rate Not Fair | http://wjon.com/charitable-gaming-36-percent-state-tax-rate-not-fair/?trackback=tsmclip


  • 18 May 2017 12:56 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    This article was written by the Duluth News Tribune Editorial Board and originally appeared on May 18, 2017.

    It's called charitable gaming because the tens of millions of dollars raised in Minnesota every year from raffles, bingo, and the sales of pull tabs help support Little League neighborhood baseball, scholarships, police dogs, local zoos, Animal Allies, youth football, food shelves, and other community needs and niceties.

    But Genny Hinnenkamp, the gambling manager for Irving Community Club, the largest charitable-gaming nonprofit in Duluth, has another name.

    "We are tax collectors for the state of Minnesota. That's practically all we are," she said last week in an interview with the News Tribune Editorial Board.

    Hard to argue with her when a whopping 72 percent of Irving's charitable gaming profits goes in taxes and fees to state coffers. Irving's profits last year totaled a little more than $1 million. Of that, $733,000 went to St. Paul. Just $306,000 was able to be doled out to support and help pay for community wants and needs in West Duluth.

    Put another way, for every $1 Irving uses to support kids and neighborhoods, it pays more than $2 to the state in taxes and fees.

    It's not right. It's upside down, argues Allied Charities of Minnesota, charitable gaming's overseer in the state. Irving is among about 200 of the 1,200 licensed charitable gaming nonprofits in Minnesota that are upside down that way.

    No surprise then that charitable gaming advocates were in St. Paul in force this legislative session looking for relief. So more money could be directed to doing more good in their local communities, they asked if they could stop paying taxes on the money they charitably distribute to schools, youth-serving organizations, T-ball teams, and others in real need. They'd still pay state taxes on pull-tab sales, the paper used to produce pull tabs, the wages paid to pull-tab operators and others, and more. But do their charitable contributions really have to be taxed, too?

    The ask hardly seems unreasonable. Taxing charitable donations is just cold. "It's really sad," as Hinnenkamp put it. "The government is that greedy that they take away from the children."

    Most lawmakers agree — verbally and publicly anyway. But legislatively? The request went nowhere this session.

    And that actually shouldn't be surprising either. Charitable gaming is little-noticed and produces big bucks. The state expects to receive about $60 million this year by taxing charitable gaming. No longer taxing donations on the back end would reduce the state's take by $16 million. Other than the charitable gaming organizations, no one is screaming for the state to take the hit. So why should they, lawmakers can figure.

    Charitable gaming also is helping to pay for the Minnesota Vikings' football stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The first $36 million the state gets annually from pull-tab taxes goes to its general fund. The rest goes to the stadium. Lawmakers clearly see little reason to mess with a funding source so politically painless.

    But, "All we're trying to do is get more money into our communities. That's it," Lund said. "Instead, our biggest 'charity' is the state."

    That hardly seems charitable.


  • 18 May 2017 12:54 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    This article originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on May 18, 2017. 

    A seven-page bill to legalize daily fantasy sports recently was heard in committee in the Minnesota House. The bill would license, regulate, and tax for-profit companies like FanDuel and DraftKings. All in the space of seven pages.

    By comparison, Minnesota's community-based, nonprofit charitable gaming organizations — the operators of bingo, raffles, and pull-tab games that invest directly in their local communities — have at least 200 pages of statutes and rules that regulate everything they do.

    The organizations the Legislature apparently believes need more regulation than the secretive, billion-dollar fantasy-sports enterprises include groups like Duluth's Irving Community Club. This nonprofit raises funds for youth education and athletic programs, mostly helping underserved kids through organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, LifeHouse, Valley Youth Centers and a number of local athletic teams.

    In addition to excessive regulation, Irving is taxed at a rate of 36 percent and now pays $439,294 more in taxes to the state annually than it is able to spend on its core charitable mission.

    Irving is only one of many organizations working throughout Northeastern Minnesota to make our communities better places to live and work — at no cost to taxpayers.

    The Legislature's treatment of Irving Community Club and similar groups is unfair, and here's why: Charitable gaming is not opposed to competition or afraid of competition, but a leveling of the playing field is needed. Giving the keys to the state to for-profit competitors that only take is hard to understand and even harder to stomach.

    Fantasy sports will be the fourth group of for-profit direct competitors to charitable gaming, following card rooms, horse racing and casinos. They all are being regulated and taxed at a fraction of charitable gaming.

    We in the charitable gaming community would take their deal in a heartbeat. These other gaming organizations are taxed at only the corporate rate of 9.5 percent. If charitable gaming organizations had that rate, we would have had another $35 million to help our communities and missions. Charities are paying up to seven times the rate of their for-profit competition. That is an insult to everything we do and stand for.

    The behemoths in daily fantasy sports, FanDuel and DraftKings, have not paid any tax or provided any social benefit to Minnesota in the five years they've been in business.

    Charitable gaming is paying $60 million in taxes this fiscal year and putting another $60 million into our communities. Add to that our employment of thousands of people and our payments of $25 million in local rents, helping to keep our sites in business.

    The Legislature either should treat the for-profit gaming companies like Minnesota charitable gaming groups or, and this is our preference, treat us like they likely will be treated, presuming the fantasy-sports bill passes.

    The fantasy-sports bill passed the committee on a voice vote and was moved to the House floor for a vote. Meanwhile, the bill Allied Charities of Minnesota introduced to provide relief to charities stalled with no sign of resuscitation this session. Despite a $1.6 billion state surplus, a bipartisan agreement on the need for tax reform for overburdened groups, and a clear message from the 2016 elections that voters in nonmetro Minnesota feel left behind, most legislators refused to even listen to us.

    Perhaps the greatest irony and slap in the face is that community-based charities are paying tax rates of up to 36 percent in order to pay for the billion-dollar NFL stadium in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, fantasy sports couldn't exist without taxpayer-funded stadiums. So we have Minnesota charities being forced to turn down local grant requests so they can help pay for the NFL stadium while fantasy sports (and other forms of gaming in Minnesota) pay a tax rate of less than 10 percent and, in many cases, ship all the benefits out of state.

    We're not giving up. Allied Charities of Minnesota plans to redouble our efforts in the coming legislative sessions to gain some sort of regulatory and tax relief for charities. We hope everyone who cares about the future vitality of Duluth will urge their legislators to support us.

     

    Allen Lund is executive director of the St. Paul-based Allied Charities of Minnesota (alliedcharitiesmn.org). He wrote this for the News Tribune.


  • 14 Apr 2017 14:03 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    This article originally appeared in the Brainerd Daily Dispatch on April 14, 2017. View the original article here.

    State taxes have taken over the mission of local charities around the state according to a new survey of Allied Charities of Minnesota. Two-thirds of survey respondents reported that they have turned down requests for grants because of burdensome state taxes. High state taxes have caused many organizations to reject funding requests for groups or activities they normally would fund. High state taxes, driven in large part by the cost of U.S. Bank Stadium (which should be called the People's Stadium) is driving a lot of discussion around the future of gaming. Some 200 charities now are paying more in state taxes than they are able to contribute to their missions. Charitable gaming pays a tax rate that averages 22 percent and is up to seven times higher than a for-profit business.

    Baxter Lions is one of those charities. We have been forced to reduce donations to missions who need our support and have been dependent on us for years. We work hard to support our missions and it is discouraging to see so much go to the state while critical needs in our communities are unmet.

    While the House of Representatives has included a small amount of tax relief in its omnibus tax bill the Senate does not include charitable gaming in tis version.

    We are paying taxes on our gross profit before prizes and not on our net profit. So in all, we are paying taxes on money that never went to the bank.

    We need everyone to call their representatives about this now. Thank you!

    Sandy Johnson

    Baxter Lions gambling manager and Allied Charities of Minnesota Region 7 director


  • 23 Mar 2017 11:23 | Amanda Horner (Administrator)

    This article originally appeared in the Walker Pilot-Independent on March 23, 2017. The original article can be viewed here.

    BACKUS — Citing a continued improvement in the economy, moderate gas prices that helped boost travel to the lakes area and  public support of its program, the Backus American Legion Charitable Gaming Partnership increased its contribution to charity and taxes paid to government by $29,814 or 49 percent in 2016.

    Donations to civic causes, including education, service organizations, food shelves, public safety and youth recreation totaled $46,822, an increase of $16,647 or 55 percent over 2015. The state of Minnesota continued to be the largest single recipient of the Legion’s charitable gaming profits, collecting $39,662 in taxes and fees in 2016, an increase of $12,610 or 46 percent from the previous year.

    The heavy state burden has continued to draw criticism from Allied Charities of Minnesota, the umbrella organization representing the charitable gaming industry. Sponsoring organizations, including veterans and fraternal clubs, were able to donate $60 million to their communities but sent another $56 million to the state in taxes and fees. Al Lund, ACM executive director, noted in a year-end analysis that 200 of 1,200 state licensed charitable gaming organization now pay more in taxes than they are able to donate to their communities. He predicted that trend will continue and that unless the Legislature enacts tax relief for charitable gaming, a majority of organizations, including veterans posts, will be paying more to the state than they raise for their charities.

    “We understand that we will pay more than others in state tax, but more to the state than we have to use is something that we can no longer stand for,” Lund said in a statement describing the status of the industry.

    Education, public safety, youth recreation and local food shelves were among the chief benefactors of the Legion’s partnership donations. The program includes the Backus Post, located at the intersection of Hwys. 371 and 87 W., and Willard’s Saloon & Eatery in downtown Backus. This year the post added the Birchwood Char House in Hackensack to its program.

    The post doubled its scholarship program donation to the Pine-River Backus School District, increasing the 10 scholarships awarded from $500 to $1,000 each for a total expenditure of $10,000. It  also raised from $1,000 to $1,500 the contribution to the Central Lakes Rotary STRIVE program aimed at keeping underperforming Pine River-Backus students in school, graduating and preparing for post-secondary education.

    The Legion increased its support for boys and girls scouting activities and continued to support Hackensack and Pine River food shelves serving the area with a total contribution of $6,000.

    Backus Fire and Emergency Medical units received $6,000, an increase of $2,000 over the previous year, and the city of Backus received $3,200 for improvements at Evergreen Cemetery.

    Youth recreation expenditures included funding for girls’ basketball, boys’ wrestling and trap shooting, which has become a popular Minnesota State High School League recognized sport for boys and girls, and an additional $500 to the annual, summer-long Hackensack area childrens fishing contest

    The post also continued its supports of childrens’ holiday parties, veterans assistance programs and supported its auxiliary program providing holiday gifts for active duty troops.

    “We are extremely pleased with the growing public support of our program,’’ said Backus Legion Commander Eugene Gagnon. “It means we can continue to increase our commitment to meeting needs of our area residents and communities – making northern Minnesota a better place to live.”

    Charitable gambling’s main source of revenue is pull-tabs, which have consistently provided more than 90 percent of revenues but includes bingo, paddle wheels, raffles and tip boards.


Join ACM Today!

Apply for the many benefits of membership in Allied Charities MN.

Join us

 



Contact ACM

3250 Rice Street
St. Paul, MN 55126

651-224-4533

Email ACM

ACM on Social Media

Recent forum updates

  • There are no forum topics to display.

Member Directory

Direct link to member directory will appear here.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software