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NH Center for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Notes:
Advocacy Newsletter

Federal News

Transportation Benefits Tax: Interim Guidance and Congressional Action
The new 21% tax for nonprofits on employee transportation benefits resulting from 2017 comprehensive tax reform has been getting recent attention from the Treasury in the form of interim guidance and from the US House in the form of proposed legislation.
The interim guidance released by the IRS on December 10 has been described as somewhat lenient by the press, since it forgives any penalties for nonprofits that have already filed that may have misunderstood how to calculate the new tax burden, and allows a reasonable test for employee parking. However, nonprofit leaders, including church leaders, are calling on the lame duck Congress to repeal the transportation tax altogether.
Responding to the outcry, the current Chairman of Ways and Means, included the repeal in the tax package put forth by his Committee this week. Elation from the nonprofit sector was short-lived, however, when they were informed that Johnson Amendment repeal was also being proposed in the same package. Nonprofits around the country have vehemently opposed the politicization of the sector through Johnson Amendment repeal.
Since it is unclear whether Congress will be able to repeal the transportation tax, nonprofits are advised to familiarize themselves with the interim guidance and on the issue of qualified parking.
Continuing Resolution until December 21
The expiration of the last continuing resolution resulted in another short-term continuing resolution until December 21.  Unresolved topics include whether to spend $5 billion on the President’s desired southern border wall, what to do with numerous controversial policy riders attached to spending bills, and whether to provide disaster relief in the form of spending and tax breaks to areas of the country devastated by hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. If agreement cannot be reached, a government shutdown could occur after December 21.

State News

NH State House Organizes for 2019
Following Organization Day on December 5, the State House has elected a new House Speaker and a new Senate President, held a vote on the Secretary of State contest and announced Committee assignments.
Representative Shurtleff, formerly minority leader in the House, was elected Speaker by the new Democratic majority. Similarly, in the Senate, the new majority voted Senator Donna Soucy in as President.
Secretary of State Bill Gardner narrowly won re-election against opponent, Colin Van Ostern, a race garnering national media attention.
Finally, new House and Senate leadership announced key Committee assignments yesterday and now reflected on the NH General Court website.
Bill titles for the 2019 legislative session currently total 770 with more expected. The last day to sign off on House LSRs is January 4. The last day to file an LSR in the Senate is December 18.
Nonprofit Leaders Gather for Policy Caucus
Nonprofit leaders gathered for the Center’s annual Nonprofit Policy Caucus on December 11. They were joined by panelists Dean Spiliotes of Southern New Hampshire University, Anna Brown of Citizens Count, and Scott Spradling of The Spradling Group, as well as members of the NH Center for Nonprofits Policy & Leadership Workgroup. Read more about the Caucus here.

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