Analysis Shows Negative Impacts of Tax Reform Bills for the Work of Oregon's Nonprofits

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have a wide range of negative impacts that have significant impacts on the ability of charitable nonprofits in Oregon to serve our communities.
House Tax Reform News

The U.S. House Bill H.R. 1 passed yesterday afternoon, Nov. 16, 2017, with a 227-205 vote. Thirteen Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the bill. The measure was touted by supporters as needed tax relief for middle-class taxpayers and small businesses. Opponents criticized the bill as benefitting the wealthy at the expense of lower-income wage earners and unfairly favoring corporate interests. The House bill has major issues of concern for nonprofits in Oregon as we reported Nov. 13.  See NAO's comparison chart here.
Senate Tax Reform News

Last night, Nov. 16, 2017, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee approved on a party-line vote of 14-12 the tax bill proposed by Chairman Hatch. There are three forms that we are aware of: the  Chairman's Mark from Nov. 9, the Chairman's Modified Mark from Nov. 14, and "technical" modifications to the Chairman's Mark exist, but are not yet available.

Earlier on the evening of Nov. 16, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) spoke in support of their amendment to create a universal deduction. (Stabenow-Wyden Amendment #9, p. 179 of   Master List of Amendments.) A new report from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center highlights the need for a universal charitable deduction as part of tax reform. The Tax Policy Center analysis found that the House and Senate tax reform plans would mean that nonprofits would lose between $12 billion and $20 billion in contributions every year. Unfortunately, Senators Portman (R-OH) and Cornyn (R-TX) spoke against it, arguing that nearly doubling the standard deduction was a benefit to "most" taxpayers. This clearly misses the point that charitable giving -- and the benefits it creates for communities -- will be reduced by the Senate bill. The forms of the Senate bill that passed did not include the Wyden/Stabenow amendments. 
So What's Next?

The differences between the competing versions of the tax reform bills will be hashed out in a conference committee or in back room deals. When and how that will be done is still unclear. NAO is working with national coalition leaders like  Independent Sector and the National Council of Nonprofits to clarify the process. As we hear more information, we will make that available. What we do know is:
  1. The tax bills adversely affect the work of charitable nonprofits! The attack on the Johnson Amendment, the impacts on the charitable deduction, and the $1.5 trillion added to the federal deficit are all issues that are of concern to charitable nonprofits.
  2. Your time and opportunity to speak is now! Be sure that our congressional delegation know your concerns. You can find your representative's contact information here. These bills are moving forward and the time to act is now!