BALLOT MEASURE 97
We support tax incentives for individuals and businesses to donate goods and services. Tax policy can be an important tool for encouraging individuals to give more of their time and treasure to support the work of nonprofit organizations. Effective incentives for giving and volunteering should be created, promoted, and strengthened where appropriate.
Measure 97 proposes to increase the corporate minimum tax for the largest corporations doing business in Oregon — C Corporations with more than $25 million in Oregon sales. Proponents and opponents express strong opinions on how the tax will be used and what the effects will be for nonprofits and the constituencies they serve. NAO will hold a forum before the ballot measure is put to the people to allow an opportunity for nonprofits to hear the issue from both sides. NAO will also track the results of the ballot measure to determine the impacts on nonprofits and engage in additional advocacy or education as necessary.
We support policies that incentivize charitable giving and provide tax benefits fairly to people of different income levels.
NAO knows that with the end of Federal subsidies for Medicare expansion and accumulating bill of PERS, the Oregon legislature will experience significant challenges for balancing State’s budget in the next biennium. It is expected that the Oregon state legislature will need to find revenue for balancing the state budget, including the possibility of sunsetting, curtailing or ending the tax incentives for individuals and businesses to give charitably. NAO will continue to monitor this work and prepare defenses on behalf of the sector on why the charitable deduction is important and must be maintained.
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS
State and local laws on property and tax exemptions should be simplified where possible to ensure a wide range of nonprofits are eligible and can satisfy reporting requirements without undue burdens.
The Oregon State Department of Revenue has launched several initiatives over the past two years to change the legislative intent of specific statutes on the books. Piece-meal legislation over decades has been noted as a rationale for an effort to research and report on the type and classifications of nonprofit property tax exemptions. Research is being conducted this year to be discussed in the 2017 legislative session regarding “stream-lining” exiting laws for property exemptions. We anticipate that legislation will be drafted this year for consideration in 2017 that may have impact on nonprofit property taxes.
We support policies that encourage all corporations to be good employers, including nonprofits. We oppose policies which place disproportionate burdens upon nonprofits as employers.
As the implementation of the new Oregon state minimum wage rolls out, it will remain a top priority for NAO. Discussion and even political action is expected to extend beyond the solution passed in the 2016 short legislative session. NAO will continue to track and study the minimum wage and the effect on nonprofits.
GOVERNMENT-NONPROFIT CONTRACTING REFROM
We believe nonprofits should not be disadvantaged in bidding processes. Government contracts with nonprofits must pay for equitable proportions of indirect expenses. Nonprofits must be paid in a timely fashion on contracts. We work with government to streamline reporting and filing.
NAO will work with government and nonprofits to identify pinch points, identify solutions and educate both on proper business practices for successful mission implementation. NAO supports nonprofit cabinets and nonprofit liaisons appointed by government as key opportunities for solutions and will work to support such initiatives.
OTHER URGENT POLICY ISSUES
The Public Policy Committee and staff will use the NAO Public Policy Priorities as a guideline to identify any urgent priorities that need to be addressed throughout the year.
Passed by the NAO Board of Directors September 28, 2016
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