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.