ACTION ALERT: House Tax Reform Bill Could Dramatically Alter Vermont Nonprofit Operations & Missions

Some of the proposed tax changes in the just-introduced House tax reform bill are bad for nonprofits. Very bad. And there’s very little time to do something about it. Call your Representative now and tell her/him not to undermine the work of charitable nonprofits through tax reform.


The House tax reform bill is moving fast. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (H.R. 1) was introduced last Thursday, the tax committee starts working on it today, and the full House is expected to vote up-or-down (meaning no amendments) on it next week. Today and tomorrow (Nov. 6-7) may be the last best chance for nonprofits to have a say in what’s in House tax reform bill. Since our state doesn’t have a member on the Ways and Means Committee, the only way for nonprofits here to have a say in the bill is to get our Representatives to tell their colleagues on the Committee to fix the bill so that charitable nonprofits can continue to do the good work they do every day.


Here’s a nonprofit summary and a detailed article on what’s in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (H.R. 1), but the two big-ticket issues we ask you to call about are these:


Section 5201 of the House bill would weaken the law that protects 501(c)(3) organizations from demands from candidates for public office and their supporters for endorsements and campaign contributions. Existing law, called the “Johnson Amendment,” has successful protected nonprofits since 1954. Section 5201 would allow churches to endorse candidates, actions that will likely result in massive hidden political spending, religious broadcasters becoming ever more partisan, expansion of corruption in the 501(c)(3) space, exploitation of “sanctuaries” for political gain, the undermining of public trust, and much more.

  • Add a Universal deduction for charitable giving to the House tax bill to enable all Americans to get a tax benefit from giving back to the work of nonprofits in their communities.

The House tax bill would nearly double the standard deduction and, as a result, shrink down to five percent the number of taxpayers who itemize their charitable deductions – likely shrinking charitable giving too. Ninety-five percent of taxpayers would receive no tax benefit for giving back to their communities. A solution is to allow all taxpayers, including those who take the standard deduction, to take a deduction for their charitable donations.



Please take two minutes today to call your U.S. Representative and deliver this simple message:  “The House tax bill is a disaster for charitable nonprofits. I ask that the Representative tell colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee to do two things to help fix it: 1) strike the Johnson Amendment language at Section 5201 from the bill, and 2) add a universal deduction to give a tax incentive to all Americans to give back to their communities. The House won’t get to amend whatever the tax committee comes up with, so the Representative needs to tell Ways and Means Committee members to protect nonprofits! Thank you!”


How to Make the Call: Simply call the Capitol switchboard (202-225-3121) and follow the automated instructions to get to your Representative’s office. If you’re not sure who your Representative is, go here to enter your zip code or here to review a list of Representatives.


Do you have an extra minute or two minute to send a Tweet? Tweet .@PeterWelch (Be sure to start with a period before the Representative’s handle):


.@PeterWelch 2 things on #TaxReform: Protect #nonprofits: strike Sec5201 on #JohnsonAmendment. Add Universal Deduction for All American taxpayers!


@WaysMeansCmte 2 things on #TaxReform: Protect #nonprofits: strike Sec5201 on #JohnsonAmendment. Add Universal Deduction for All American taxpayers!



Your voice matters! Join us in taking a stand for a strong and vibrant nonprofit community. 

Thank you.


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