Nonprofits Concerned About Future Viability, N.C. Center for Nonprofits Hosts Public Policy Forum

Published Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:58 am

N.C. Center for Nonprofits hosts Public Policy Forum, NC Nonprofits Day to discuss impacts on charitable organizations and those they serve – February 25-26.

Feb. 25, 2013. Amid growing concern about their future viability, more than 200 North Carolina nonprofit leaders will converge on the Legislative Building on Tuesday to advocate for tax laws that protect and preserve their ability to continue to meet the needs of their local communities.

NC Center for Nonprofits“In a struggling economy, many North Carolina nonprofits are having a difficult time keeping up with the local demand for support and services.  Changes in tax law, such as requiring nonprofits to pay sales tax, could siphon off dollars that we would otherwise dedicate to meeting the needs of those we serve.  This is a key focus in organizing NC Nonprofits Day, so that our elected officials understand the vital role nonprofits play and the potential impact tax reform could have on this sector and our communities,” noted Jane Kendall, President and founder of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.  She added that more than nine in 10 North Carolina nonprofits experienced increased demand for services in 2011, and more than half had insufficient resources to meet the needs.  Moreover, in each of the past three years, more than one-third of North Carolina nonprofits have seen a decrease in private giving from individuals, businesses, and foundations.

Elected officials have indicated that everything is on the table concerning tax reform; for example,  some leading lawmakers and elected officials have proposed broadening the base, eliminating or reducing corporate and personal income taxes, and expanding the sales tax to include more services to recover some of the revenue that could be lost with these provisions.  Several elected leaders will present their views on tax reform at the Center’s Public Policy Forum on Monday, February 25.

 A range of policy issues will be covered in the Public Policy Forum and discussed at NC Nonprofits Day in the halls of the General Assembly, including proposals that would:  (1) go against the overwhelming will of taxpayers by forcing nonprofits to pay sales tax on their purchases;  (2) remove state tax incentives for individuals and businesses to contribute to nonprofits;  (3) tax some or all services provided by nonprofits; and (4) force nonprofits with state grants to pay a fee to state agencies for the state’s own administrative costs.  The slate of speakers for the Forum includes executive and legislative branch leaders, including legislators representing both houses and both parties.

“Nonprofits could be encountering a sea change if a revenue overhaul creates new taxes on nonprofits and reduces the ability of North Carolinians to support their charitable work,” noted David Heinen, the Center’s Director of Public Policy and Advocacy.  “These types of changes would undermine the public’s commitment to volunteer services.  As we saw in a recent survey, eight in 10 North Carolinians support tax exemptions for nonprofits.”

Kendall explained, “With skyrocketing demand for nonprofit services, these organizations are stretched thin, often beyond their capacity.”

While many North Carolinians may think of charitable nonprofits as emergency food and shelter providers, the nonprofit sector touches virtually all North Carolinians in many ways.  Nonprofit services can include religious activities, education, recreation, child care, health care, the arts and cultural resources, counseling, conservation, senior care, and disaster assistance.

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The N.C. Center for Nonprofits — Founded in 1990, the Center works to enrich North Carolina’s communities and economy through a strong nonprofit sector and nonprofit voice. Today, it serves as an information center on effective practices in nonprofit organizations, a statewide network for nonprofit board and staff members, and an advocate for the nonprofit sector as a whole. It is the leading voice for nonprofit organizations across the state.  More details about policy issues can be found at www.ncnonprofits.org/voice/policy-issues.

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