Allied Charities of Minnesota

11/03 Letter

03 Nov 2017 06:00 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

Members,

If you need a reminder of why we do what we do, watch this short video of the Metro Youth Baseball League.  MYB

Click on the link to an article about the Spring Lake Park Lions and the city of Spring Lake Park requesting funds from the Lions.  Spring Lake Park Lions

It is encouraging that cities are taking notice of what is going on with charitable gaming and state taxes.  Getting cities to help us work towards getting a state tax structure that allows us to serve our local communities while still paying taxes to the state is an important step. 

We have never said that we should not pay taxes to the state.  We have said that there needs to be a structure where no charity should be paying more to the state than they have for their community or mission.  We all know that no business would ever put up with what we are paying, yet we continue to put up with our treatment.  I will never be able to over stress that you and your organization do not deserve to be treated as you currently are accepting of.  Your caring and philanthropy is what the state is counting on to keep the status quo. 

Our train went off the rails with the 2012 stadium bill.  Paying up to 7 times what a business pays is an insult to every member of every charity that pays the 36% rate in a given fiscal year.   Any charity averaging more than 25% in state tax in a fiscal year is most likely paying more to the state than they have for their community and mission.  I look forward with apprehension and foreboding to see how many of us went upside down in FY2017. 

Record sales, record net profits to the charities (yes, even a dollar more would qualify as a record), record taxes to the state and no mass exodus by charities are hurting our cause.  The message from the state is a resounding “What’s not to like?”  Rising payouts and expenses are coming directly out of our missions dollars.  Our diminishing slice of the pie is not resonating with or generating any action from our elected officials. 

The stadium fund is taking in roughly $50 million per year and the annual bill for the stadium is $31 million.  Why not give our organizations and our communities relief?  There is more than enough to do so.  Is money laying fallow in a stadium fund really more important than helping those in need in our communities?  I think not. 

If your organization is not able to make the donations that you once did or are reducing the amount of the donations that you can accommodate, you need to be letting those requesting the donation know why.  You need to tell them that the state is where your funds now go and that they need to contact the Governor, their state senator and state representative for the money.  Getting help from those that benefit from our efforts will be key to our success.

One thought is to withhold donations until the end of a fiscal year, when a charity would know for certain if there is anything left to donate after all taxes and expenses are paid.  At the top rate a charity can hold a three star rating by only paying taxes to the state.  Only in MN would a charity be able to keep their charitable gaming license by paying taxes.    

I have said for some time that if the state wanted to fix our tax structure they would have.  They clearly have no imminent intention of doing so.  As a group we need to decide if we are going to give the effort necessary to convince them to do so. 

See you at convention.  Attached is the current seminar schedule.  There are still hotel rooms available at all hotels with  the exception of the Marriott and the Kelly Inn.  Make sure to tell them that you are with Allied Charities and want the ACM rate.

Regards,

Al


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