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Call to Action: Advocate for Repeal of New Taxes on Nonprofit Parking & Transit Benefits

by Sarah Skillin Woodard

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law Public Law No. 115-97, unofficially called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, imposing a 21-percent unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on nonprofits that provide their employees with parking and transit benefits. The tax is calculated differently depending upon whether the nonprofit organization owns or leases their parking. We’re hearing from members that this new tax is pulling thousands of dollars away from their mission. To learn more about how this tax may affect your organization, please read the interim guidance provided by the IRS back in December of 2018.

MANP has been communicating with the Senators Collins and King about this issue and they have both since signed on as co-sponsors to the Senate’s LIFT for Charities Act (S. 632) to repeal the tax. The House bill, LIFT for Charities Act (H.R. 1545), has a dozen co-sponsors, but only one Democrat and none are from Maine.

What You Can Do

There is a real concern that there is not enough momentum for these bills to pass prior to the next quarterly tax payment deadline. Congress must take action now to repeal the transportation tax on nonprofits.

Take five minutes today to do any (preferably all) of the following:

  • Call Your Representative at 202-225-3121 and tell them the transportation tax on nonprofits is unfair and burdensome, and must be repealed. Partial guidance from the IRS issued on December 10 is incomplete, costly, and raises even more confusion. Tell them that nonprofits – charitable organizations, houses of worship, and foundations – are all united in opposition to this tax, and urge them to let their leadership know that repealing the nonsensible income tax on expenses by tax-exempt nonprofits is essential before tax payments come due this spring.
  • Call Your Senator at 202-225-3121 and ask them to cosponsor S.632. Tell them your nonprofit will divert resources away from its mission to make quarterly estimated payments on the transportation unrelated business income tax.
  • Email your Representative and our Senators and deliver the same message – the nonsensible income tax on nonprofit expenses by tax-exempt nonprofits for providing transportation benefits must be repealed. (Here’s where you can find contact Information for Rep. Pingree, Rep. Golden, Senator King and Senator Collins.)
  • Tweet your Representative and Senators to deliver this simple message: [Representative/Senator’s Twitter Handle] Repealing the #nonprofit transportation tax (Code Sec 512a7). Every dollar spent on this tax is a dollar diverted from our mission of serving constituents in our state.”

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