Allied Charities of Minnesota

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  • 02 Apr 2020 11:43 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    There are currently two primary plans for relief for small businesses (under 500 employees).  These plans appear to apply to at least some non-profit organizations, but please be aware that there are multiple exclusions.  Please consult a professional to guide you through the eligibility and application requirements.

    One is the Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Here is a link to the application: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/  In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, with a forgivable advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. 

    The second is the Paycheck Protection Plan, which consists of forgivable loans if the loan money is spent on payroll (less federal taxes), rent, utilities, or mortgage payments, and the business retains its employees or brings them back by June 30.  Applies to charitable groups (i.e. (c)(3)) and certain (c)(19) groups). This program is administered through SBA certified banks, of which there are about 1800 nationwide.  The US Treasury is attempting to expand the number of certified banks.  The loan covers up to 2.5 months of permitted payroll and related expenses.  Most banks are saying that they will have more information out in the next couple of days.  The application period starts Friday, April 3, 2020.   Link to the application is https://www.uschamber.com/report/covid-19-emergency-loans-small-business-guide

    ACM is forwarding this to you as information only. ACM has no knowledge if your organization qualifies for either program, and is making no recommendation regarding the appropriateness of either program for your organization. More information can be found on the websites for the Small Business Administration and the Department of the US Treasury.  You can also contact your bank.

    There has been no official reply in regards to the requests made by ACM of the Gambling Control Board and Department of Revenue regarding the relief requested last week. Unofficially we are being told that they are under consideration by the administration. As soon as any information is officially available it will be forwarded. 

    Attached is the Jan-Mar GCB newsletter

    Regards,

    Al

    2020-gn-janfebmar.pdf


  • 26 Mar 2020 17:35 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    Members,

    Attached please find the requests that ACM is making of Governor Walz, the Department of Revenue and the Gambling Control Board to help licensed gaming organizations make it through this difficult time.

    I have been hearing from members and others that now is the time to be asking for much needed tax reform of charitable gaming. I certainly understand and appreciate that sentiment.

    Nobody has been clearer in regards to needing tax reform for charities than ACM these past five years. One needs to look no farther back than my obituary of charitable gaming back in 2017 when we first paid the state more than we had for our community and missions.

    We have tried to rally support for tax reform from the state and additional reforms from everyone that garnered income from charities. We foretold of what would happen if charitable gaming ceased to exist, it would cease to exist for everyone involved, not just the charities. I tried to get those profiting from us to understand that 15%/20%/25%/27% of something is a whole lot better than 15%/20%/31%/36% of nothing.

    Up until a couple of weeks ago I thought that we were well positioned for much needed tax relief. A surplus of $1.5 billion was in our favor. The Senate was a supporter and I thought that if we made it to the Governor’s desk that he would not veto the tax bill because of our inclusion.

    That has now all changed. If it hasn’t already, the surplus will become a deficit. Governor Walz and our legislators are making decisions that everyone hopes will shorten the duration of the virus and help those with the greatest needs, but those choices almost always come with a cost. We need to support our leaders during these trying times. Now is not the time to second guess their decisions or arm chair quarterback.

    Now is not the time for us to be asking the state for tax reform for charitable gaming. Now is the time for us to be coming together  and doing what we can to help everyone get through this as soon as possible. I have heard of great things that charities are doing to help their communities in this time of crisis. An example is the Osseo Lions who donated funds to help keep meals being delivered to seniors in need. We have always been a shining example of helping others when the need arises and we need to continue that example today. Asking for tax relief at this point in time would only bolster what our most vocal opponents accuse us of being, greedy and self serving.

    When this is over and some resemblance of normalcy returns, ACM will again be front and center in the fight for reform for charities. At that time if everyone comes together we will get much needed reform from the state and others that will help ensure our ability to serve our missions and communities for years to come.  I am going to cling to the belief that something good will come out of this for charities.

    God Bless,

    Request for Relief 03262020.pdf


  • 20 Mar 2020 12:48 | Allen Lund (Administrator)

    GCBreports Filing Extension – The deadline for filing your February 2020 monthly reports (LG100A, LG100C, and LG100F) with the Gambling Control Board has been extended one week to Friday, March 27.  This one-time extension is granted in light of the extra work involved in temporarily shutting down your gambling operations and other delays due to COVID-19.

  • 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

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