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(KATU)   Oregon passes law to take away charitable tax deductions for charities that devote less that 70% of funds towards actual charity work   (katu.com) divider line 121
    More: Hero, funds, Oregon, itemized deduction, tax breaks, local taxes, Oregon Department of Justice  
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5444 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jun 2013 at 5:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-30 06:00:34 PM
Good. Next, churches.
 
2013-06-30 06:00:52 PM
Even charities have operating costs.
 
2013-06-30 06:03:20 PM

phillydrifter: Even charities have operating costs.


I don't think anybody disputes that. However, when operating costs, marketing and 'awareness' campaigns (which is just marketing under a different cost code) take up 70% of the budget, there is a problem.
 
2013-06-30 06:03:39 PM
Yeah, well let's make it illegal for politicians to spend more than 30% of their time fundraising, then.
 
2013-06-30 06:03:49 PM
Subby has it backwards - it takes away tax breaks for charities that spend  more than 70% of their donations on management, etc. So as long as you still spend 30% or more on charity you're still in the clear.

Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?
 
2013-06-30 06:04:17 PM

phillydrifter: Even charities have operating costs.


And even the automotive industry has federally regulated MPG standards.

Same difference. If they can mandate how many miles per gallon a car has to achieve, they can regulate how much of your funds must be donated to be considered a tax exempt charity.
 
2013-06-30 06:05:50 PM

phillydrifter: Even charities have operating costs.


If your operating cost if more than 30% of what goes to helping people besides yourself, maybe you need to rethink your charity's structure.

Some charities are real, some are basically a scam. I don't have a problem with the government trying to regulate what was become an industry so that there is less fraud and the money actually goes to what people think it will.
 
2013-06-30 06:07:16 PM

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Yeah, well let's make it illegal for politicians to spend more than 30% of their time fundraising, then.


I'm OK with this too.
If I were dictator in charge for life, campaigns would be publicly funded and equally split among the candidates. Outside donations would be banned as well. Your idea sounds like a good start.
 
2013-06-30 06:07:41 PM
shiat now my charity has to flat out lie, or I have to have several barely legit charities to pay for my lifestyle
 
2013-06-30 06:08:23 PM

b-ham: Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?


They might be anticipating having to defend this law in court. It might be more feasible to do so if they're only going after the worst offenders.
 
2013-06-30 06:08:53 PM

JesusJuice: Good. Next, churches.


Why are you against the separation of church & state?
 
2013-06-30 06:08:59 PM

b-ham: Subby has it backwards - it takes away tax breaks for charities that spend  more than 70% of their donations on management, etc. So as long as you still spend 30% or more on charity you're still in the clear.

Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?


Deserves reiteration.
 
2013-06-30 06:11:14 PM
Everyone always talks about the worst charities. But what about the good ones? Farkers, which ones do you always give to knowing that the money is going to be used for what is intended for?
 
2013-06-30 06:11:22 PM
never mind F.T.A.

"The law will eliminate state and local tax subsidies for charities that spend more than 70 percent of donations on management and fundraising over three years "

we'll just go out of business and start a new one every two years

/more cynical than usual today
 
2013-06-30 06:11:55 PM
Cool, hero tag deserved.
 
2013-06-30 06:12:22 PM
So, Oregonians For Sharpening Satan's Horns is still okay? Amen. Oops, I mean Kiss the Devil.
 
2013-06-30 06:12:25 PM

ambercat: phillydrifter: Even charities have operating costs.

If your operating cost if more than 30% of what goes to helping people besides yourself, maybe you need to rethink your charity's structure.

Some charities are real, some are basically a scam. I don't have a problem with the government trying to regulate what was become an industry so that there is less fraud and the money actually goes to what people think it will.


Hard to draw a line there.  Is it a scam at 69%?

A lot of "purposes", the work is a lot of it.  For example, Make-A-Wish may get a football player to visit a dying child.  The football player isn't gonna be billing for this.  The plane ticket, sure, the charity can pay that.  A lot of it probably comes down to hiring someone with connections to make these calls and make this happen.  So it MAY appear the majority goes to "executive pay", but really I don't know how to judge it.
 
2013-06-30 06:14:05 PM
my charity only donates 0.01%  the other half goes to child pornography.  what's wrong
 
2013-06-30 06:14:49 PM
But how am I going to feel good about myself and all of my philanthropy if the charities I donate to can't lavish me and my guests at black-tie galas and million dollar awareness events?

What then?! How am I supposed to show everyone how much I care about  *insert cause here*if our pictures aren't on the B8 page of the local newspaper? Why bother anymore?

This is nonsense. It's all about awareness.

/Pay attention to me and my good deeds!!!!! LOOK AT ME!!!!
 
2013-06-30 06:14:55 PM

mekki: Everyone always talks about the worst charities. But what about the good ones? Farkers, which ones do you always give to knowing that the money is going to be used for what is intended for?


Charity Navigator helps sort stuff out.
 
2013-06-30 06:15:39 PM

mekki: Everyone always talks about the worst charities. But what about the good ones? Farkers, which ones do you always give to knowing that the money is going to be used for what is intended for?


I hate you all so I quite giving.

legion_of_doo: JesusJuice: Good. Next, churches.

Why are you against the separation of church & state?


lol......He wants to tax Jesus's helicopter blades.
 
2013-06-30 06:15:50 PM

b-ham: Subby has it backwards - it takes away tax breaks for charities that spend  more than 70% of their donations on management, etc. So as long as you still spend 30% or more on charity you're still in the clear.

Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?


Yeah - I've basically stopped giving to charities because I don't know how the money will be spent.  I don't mind giving, but if most of my money is not actually going to help the cause I'm giving to then screw that.

If they can't even tell me how my money will be spent then I actually would rather give it to some homeless person on the street even if there's a good chance it will just be wasted on booze or drugs.

The most annoying charity grabs are the ones in the check out lines at PetSmart or Target.  "Would you like to donate a  dollar?"  As if you're some sort of scrooge if you don't cough up a 100 pennies while you're spending $50 on merchandise.

PetSmart asks for money for animals.  You know what, PetSmart?  Every single penny I spend at your store is going to a once homeless animal.

I'm really tempted to start my own charity.  You send me your dollars and tell me what cause you support and I promise to at least forward at least 30 cents on each dollar to whoever you want me to.
 
2013-06-30 06:16:30 PM
quit
 
2013-06-30 06:16:51 PM
So, 100% of them.

www.roadkilltshirts.com
 
2013-06-30 06:17:03 PM

mekki: Everyone always talks about the worst charities. But what about the good ones? Farkers, which ones do you always give to knowing that the money is going to be used for what is intended for?


Human Fund
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-06-30 06:17:28 PM
State officials and nonprofit leaders believe Oregon is the first state in the nation to pass a charity law that punishes nonprofits that spend too little of their money on their missions.

Massachusetts disallows charitable deductions for all charities. Politicians repealed a voter initiative to allow deducting charitable donations.
 
2013-06-30 06:18:51 PM
The last episode of Econtalk takes on this very issue and, as with many things, folks sometimes miss the point with the "use of overhead as a measure of effectiveness."  Germain to this issue.
 
2013-06-30 06:20:48 PM

gmpilot: Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?

Deserves reiteration.


Iteration is exactly what I expect to happen here.

The goal of the law is presumably to get poorly managed charities to clean up their acts and do more good.  If they start off too strict, it'll probably just convince a lot of shysters and a few legit charities to get out of the game entirely, and the net result would be fewer charity dollars used to help people.

Assuming the version of the law with the 30% rule passes judicial muster and has positive results, I would expect versions requiring 40% and later 50% to come down the pike later.
 
2013-06-30 06:20:55 PM
The law will eliminate state and local tax subsidies for charities that spend more than 70 percent of donations on management and fundraising over three years, the Statesman-Journal reported. The measure, House Bill 2060, was signed by the governor in June.

While not the 70% of funds towards actual charity work, I think this is good to focus on is the reduction in spending on management and fundraising. What else is there to a charity besides management, fundraising, and actual charity work? No idea, but f*ck if you are spending 70% or more of your charitable donations on management and fundraising how good could your management be to think spending this outrageous sum also on fundraising was a good idea for a charity? What could you do with say 50% maximum spend on those? You would have to make an enormous sum for the reduction in fundraising and management in this way to hurt actual charitable contributions.
 
2013-06-30 06:21:16 PM

ZAZ: State officials and nonprofit leaders believe Oregon is the first state in the nation to pass a charity law that punishes nonprofits that spend too little of their money on their missions.

Massachusetts disallows charitable deductions for all charities. Politicians repealed a voter initiative to allow deducting charitable donations.


But Massachusetts probably doesn't yank the charities property tax exemption if they aren't putting enough of their revenue into their claimed cause.
 
2013-06-30 06:24:00 PM

gmpilot: b-ham: Subby has it backwards - it takes away tax breaks for charities that spend  more than 70% of their donations on management, etc. So as long as you still spend 30% or more on charity you're still in the clear.

Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?

Deserves reiteration.


Arguably, I could see some new charity starting out very small having problems getting beyond that point in the first 3 years.
 
2013-06-30 06:25:32 PM

Krieghund: b-ham: Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?

They might be anticipating having to defend this law in court. It might be more feasible to do so if they're only going after the worst offenders.


You mean the court of public opinion.  There's nothing legal that would stop them from taxing any and all charitable donations.

Way back before the Do Not Call list was even mentioned, I remember the confused stammering I heard from people asking for donations when I would ask how much would actually go towards whatever cause they were begging for.
 
2013-06-30 06:26:10 PM

gfid: If they can't even tell me how my money will be spent then I actually would rather give it to some homeless person on the street even if there's a good chance it will just be wasted on booze or drugs.


Hey now, whattaya mean "wasted"??
 
2013-06-30 06:27:01 PM
[ctrl-f] school

Nothing?  Wow.  OK, I'll check back later.
 
2013-06-30 06:27:55 PM

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: gmpilot: b-ham: Subby has it backwards - it takes away tax breaks for charities that spend  more than 70% of their donations on management, etc. So as long as you still spend 30% or more on charity you're still in the clear.

Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?

Deserves reiteration.

Arguably, I could see some new charity starting out very small having problems getting beyond that point in the first 3 years.


Then maybe it's not really a charity but is a small for employment or profit company with a bad business model, even if the stated intent is noble.
 
2013-06-30 06:29:24 PM
good law.
 
2013-06-30 06:32:09 PM

legion_of_doo: JesusJuice: Good. Next, churches.

Why are you against the separation of church & state?


Do you really think churches aren't involved in political activity?

It is political suicide to go after those that are, but one can dream.

That being said, a part from a belief in the supernatural, what makes a religious belief so precious that my drinking with lab/science coworkers while we discuss science can't be given an exempt status?

Not saying it's a religion, but at least it's an ethos.
 
2013-06-30 06:32:39 PM

ambercat: phillydrifter: Even charities have operating costs.

If your operating cost if more than 30% of what goes to helping people besides yourself, maybe you need to rethink your charity's structure.

Some charities are real, some are basically a scam. I don't have a problem with the government trying to regulate what was become an industry so that there is less fraud and the money actually goes to what people think it will.


^This.  Some do-gooders do awfully well for themselves, and are less than charitable when it comes to actually ensuring the money donated doesn't get sucked in by the middle men.

I'm so poor most Farkers wouldn't associate with me, but I do give a small amount to charity when I can.  Not because I'm a nice person, I'm not; I simply find perverse pleasure in the fact someone is worse off than me.  But I do pay attention to how much of the money goes on overheads and not directly to the cause.
 
2013-06-30 06:32:51 PM
Most charities are just another form of business, not actual "charity'.  Collect money, provide jobs, pay big salaries to 'Executives'.  Make people feel good as you scam them out of their money.

What we should do is pass a nation wide law that says a Non-Profit Charity may spend no more than 25% on Operating Costs.
 
2013-06-30 06:33:27 PM
"These organizations have found the business model of using a nonprofit as a cover for what's basically a telemarketing for-profit firm," White said. "They're giving charities and nonprofits a black eye and need to be gotten out of our midst."

And a 70% administrative spending cap isn't going to do that. Jesus, do you actually feel good about this?
If you're spending even half of your donations on "administrative costs" you have no business calling yourselves a charity.
 
2013-06-30 06:34:11 PM

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Yeah, well let's make it illegal for politicians to spend more than 30% of their time fundraising, then.


How about we just have publicly financed elections so they never have to go fundraising?
 
2013-06-30 06:39:57 PM

ACunningPlan: ambercat: phillydrifter: Even charities have operating costs.

If your operating cost if more than 30% of what goes to helping people besides yourself, maybe you need to rethink your charity's structure.

Some charities are real, some are basically a scam. I don't have a problem with the government trying to regulate what was become an industry so that there is less fraud and the money actually goes to what people think it will.

^This.  Some do-gooders do awfully well for themselves, and are less than charitable when it comes to actually ensuring the money donated doesn't get sucked in by the middle men.

I'm so poor most Farkers wouldn't associate with me, but I do give a small amount to charity when I can.  Not because I'm a nice person, I'm not; I simply find perverse pleasure in the fact someone is worse off than me.  But I do pay attention to how much of the money goes on overheads and not directly to the cause.


I would like to subscribe to your newsletter, reading that was refreshing.
 
2013-06-30 06:44:39 PM
The article says the law is actually even more conservative than the headline. The charities will lose status only if they spend more than 70% on overhead. This should be a no brainer at that level.
 
2013-06-30 06:48:56 PM

NutWrench: "These organizations have found the business model of using a nonprofit as a cover for what's basically a telemarketing for-profit firm," White said. "They're giving charities and nonprofits a black eye and need to be gotten out of our midst."

And a 70% administrative spending cap isn't going to do that. Jesus, do you actually feel good about this?
If you're spending even half of your donations on "administrative costs" you have no business calling yourselves a charity.


No, but a 30% might weed out some of the more fraudulent ones.
 
2013-06-30 06:49:02 PM

mekki: Everyone always talks about the worst charities. But what about the good ones? Farkers, which ones do you always give to knowing that the money is going to be used for what is intended for?


Only ones I ever give to is the HRC and the Phoenix center. Not sure if HRC counts its more a political action group but I don't make enough to try to use them as a tax deduction. Phoenix center is a local gay outreach center that provideds housing and counseling for people that are HIV+
 
2013-06-30 06:50:38 PM
 

NutWrench: "These organizations have found the business model of using a nonprofit as a cover for what's basically a telemarketing for-profit firm," White said. "They're giving charities and nonprofits a black eye and need to be gotten out of our midst."

And a 70% administrative spending cap isn't going to do that. Jesus, do you actually feel good about this?
If you're spending even half of your donations on "administrative costs" you have no business calling yourselves a charity.


Forgive me, I commented because I thought headline was accurate.  You are correct in this case, and this is completely pointless.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-06-30 06:52:20 PM
Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman

You're right, I missed that the Oregon law does two things: revoke the tax deduction and revoke the faux charity's exemption from taxation.
 
2013-06-30 06:52:46 PM
I wonder what percentage of taxpayer dollars is used by our government to benefit the public. That's probably impossible to know, and our politicians know it.
 
2013-06-30 06:53:51 PM

ambercat: mekki: Everyone always talks about the worst charities. But what about the good ones? Farkers, which ones do you always give to knowing that the money is going to be used for what is intended for?

Charity Navigator helps sort stuff out.


I love Charity Navigator.

for myself, but also the non-profit I work for has 3/4.  Which is fair, there's definitely room for improvement.  But it's incredibly helpful to be able to point (justifiably) skeptical people to the site.

/over 80% goes straight to the work, the rest administrative and fundraising
//every office also has access to IRS filings and we print them out for anyone who asks
//70% *administrative* isn't great, but it's a start - weed out the BLATANTLY obvious scams first, then refine
 
2013-06-30 06:53:53 PM

b-ham: Good move, but it still seems like a very conservative number. Why not 50%?


I think they're mainly targeting some widely-publicized overt shams that are on the public's mind. The ones who pay 98% of their donations to a for-profit telemarketing firm owned by the administrators of the non-profit. For locally run shams, this just means they'll have to reduce their profit margins, but for nationally-run shams which the article mentions specifically, they probably won't want to adjust their overall business model this radically for a single state.
 
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