Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Are North Carolina Nonprofits Scamming the Taxpayers?

Are nonprofit organizations scamming the taxpayers of North Carolina?  I’m beginning to wonder.  The state currently has 9,500 of these organizations.  Every one of them has an advantage over their for-profit competitors by getting generous tax breaks, refunds and exemptions from collecting sales taxes. 
All of these nonprofits profess they are providing a valuable service.  I ask, doesn’t every business think the same?  If their customers didn’t believe so, their doors would be shuttered.  Yet, the state grants privileges to those they deem more worthy than others.  Usually, a number of these nonprofits use their status to lobby legislators to implement laws that are contrary to the general welfare of their citizens.  Here is an example of a nonprofit lobbyist spinning the oncoming Armageddon:

The N.C. Center for Nonprofits, which represents 1,600 charitable agencies, cited Monday the potential effect on nonprofits overall, saying it could reduce state revenue by as much as $3 billion by the end of fiscal 2016-2017.
Officials with the nonprofit center recognize that some form of tax-code reform, including sales tax, is going to be enacted by the General Assembly. That includes charging sales tax on many professional services, such as car repairs, haircuts and going to an attorney, as part of shifting the state’s tax code more toward consumption.

The officials say they are concerned reform will have an either-or financial implication: either the cost is passed on to consumers or absorbed by the nonprofit. They said proposals to limit or eliminate deductions for charitable giving by individuals and corporations will hurt their ability to meet community need. 
Can you feel the ensuing disaster that is to befall us?  What is really pathetic is the lie that this lobbying group has proclaimed.  N.C. House Bill #998 does not put any caps on charitable deductions.  And if you listen to the political advertisements on the radio, you’ll hear all sorts of lies by nonprofit organizations that are too numerous to document here.

To illustrate how innocuous some nonprofits seem the Mises Institute relates the following:     
A large number of nonprofit organizations are really private, tax-exempt corporations that exist off government money. For example, the American Lung Association collects charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations ostensibly to help fund research into cures for diseases of the lungs. In reality, however, the ALA uses private contributions to lobby the federal government for research grants for scientists (government-funded science) and even larger shares of money for itself. 

Not only does the ALA argue for politically-based scientific research, however, but it also lobbies the government to pass regulation after regulation. For example, the EPA-caused gas-price fiasco of this past summer had the ALA's fingerprints all over it, as that organization was one of the loudest voices in the passage of the fraudulent and costly Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. 

In other words, the nice lady representing the ALA who took donations at your home or office really was doing nothing more than asking you to help fund an alliance between that organization and environmental groups seeking to drastically lower your standard of living. And you thought that all you were doing was helping cure lung diseases.

Maybe North Carolinians should rethink the value of nonprofit organizations.  The republicans in the General Assembly are taking the right steps.

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