On December 17, the House of Representatives passed a tax and spending package that includes several benefits for charitable organizations. If signed into law by the end of this week as expected, this combined legislation will be a significant victory for the health of the whole nonprofit sector and the communities it serves. Independent Sector is actively urging legislators to support it, and we hope you will do so as you are able.
Specifically, the legislation would retroactively repeal the new tax on transportation benefits—such as parking or transit—that nonprofit organizations provide to their employees. Over the last two years, Independent Sector and many others worked to build consensus on Capitol Hill that this tax was a mistake and must be repealed. Early in that work, we heard from policymakers and advocates about their struggle to quantify the true impact of this tax. Thanks to a partnership with researchers at the Urban Institute and the George Washington University, Independent Sector was able to quickly commission a piece of powerful research that attached a price-tag to this tax on nonprofits. We then got that information in the hands of advocates fighting for repeal of this tax. We are grateful to all who supported and utilized this research.
In addition to this victory, the text released this morning would finally simplify the private foundation excise tax at a single rate. Independent Sector has again been proud to stand with allies at the national, regional, and local level in pushing for this simplification.
Finally, the spending deal itself is an accomplishment for our sector. While individual organizations and coalitions may advocate for specific funding accounts, we have been calling on Congress to make sure that the overall pool of resources is large enough to enable these investments. This spending deal implements the new budget caps that Congress rightfully lifted earlier this year.
These victories may have appeared in writing overnight, but they are the product of tireless work by sector advocates and allies. They are testament to what we can accomplish together when we have good information and aligned actions — and I could not be more grateful for your partnership.
Here’s to accomplishing even more together in 2020. We look forward to having you alongside of us as we step into the New Year!