07 April 2017

ACR Newsletter 4.7.17 –

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: PF Excise Tax Simplification
>> Federal: Summit Recap
>> Federal: Roadmap for Action Webinar
>> Consider This: Whiplash
>> Top Reads200 Charity Leaders Visit Washington to Push Lawmakers to Keep Tax Write-Offs

Washington Roundup

The first item on Congress’ agenda this year was passing a health care bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act. They were on their way to doing that, but on Friday, March 24, House leadership pulled the legislation after not being able to gain enough conservative support to pass. Now, top House tax writers and the White House are indicating a pivot to tax reform.

The failure of the healthcare bill makes tax reform more difficult because lawmakers were relying on health care tax cuts to lower the revenue baseline, which would make revenue-neutral tax reform easier. Without those tax cuts, lawmakers will have to either (1) look to other options for raising revenue in tax reform to attain revenue neutrality; (2) slim down their tax reform plan to attain revenue neutrality; or (3) abandon their revenue-neutrality goal. Republicans have been planning tax reform around the assumption that it would be revenue neutral so it can pass through budget reconciliation, which avoids a Senate filibuster. However, the White House or other Republican lawmakers could call for a tax cut that isn’t offset and would therefore sunset in ten years if passed through reconciliation.

Additionally, the border-adjustment tax, the main revenue raiser from the House GOP blueprint, is raising concerns among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. If House GOP leadership is unable to gain enough support for this provision, it’s unclear how they will reach revenue-neutrality to pass the legislation through reconciliation. There are a lot of decisions to be made in tax reform, and the Administration needs a win on this after the healthcare failure, so don’t expect anything rushed.

Private Foundation Excise Tax Simplification 

The ACR team is working with Rep. Erik Paulsen’s (R-MN) office to secure original cosponsors for the Private Foundation Excise Tax Simplification Act, which would streamline the PF excise tax to a flat one percent. Rep. Paulsen has introduced the legislation twice and it has passed the House twice in the America Gives More Act. Other Members on the bill include Democratic lead Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and Ways and Means member Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH).

Summit Recap 

On March 21, ACR hosted its annual Summit for Leaders. Nonprofit leaders who attended got to hear from congressional staff, administration officials and other policy experts about what the charitable sector can do to protect charitable giving and educate lawmakers about the critical role of charitable giving. The ACR Roadmap for Action – a 12-month guide to keeping in contact with your lawmakers with resources to help – was unveiled at the Summit. If you missed the session at the Summit, ACR will be offering a webinar on April 19 to explain the roadmap. See further information on the webinar in the next section.

In addition to the webinar, the panel discussion on “A New IRS and the Tax-Exempt Sector” from the ACR Summit is below.

Roadmap for Action Webinar 

One of the most popular sessions at our ACR Summit for Leaders was the unveiling of our Roadmap for Action – an annual plan for connecting with your lawmakers in DC and back home to ensure you remain top-of-mind. That’s why we are going to offer it again. If you couldn’t make it to DC to attend the session, or even if you did and want to see it again, join us on April 19 for a 30-minute webinar where we’ll present the session again.

Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm Eastern Time

  • Sandra Swirski, Executive Director, The Alliance for Charitable Reform
  • Sara Barba, Senior Government Relations Associate, Urban Swirski and Associates

You can get the Roadmap for Action here, or by visiting the Take Action section of our website. To register, click here or email Marques Chavez at mchavez@philanthropyroundtable.org.

Consider This – Whiplash

As of this writing, we are less than 80 days into the Trump Administration. Every new President brings fresh energy and excitement to the job, but frankly we are on overload.

After a 17-day stint pursuing are repeal and replace for the Affordable Care Act, the plug was pulled and all eyes turned to tax reform – at least for a week or so. Now policymakers (and just about everyone else in DC) have been dragged back into health care discussions, while tax reform appears to be on a slower track – with all sorts of questions still to be answered.

What process will the GOP try to use to get healthcare and/or tax reform through?  How poisoned will the well be post-Gorsuch?  And just how will the right and left wings of the GOP (particularly in the House) navigate all of the above?

We’ve got whiplash with all of the toggling back and forth between issues.  And by the time we get to 100 days into this administration, we expect we will feel a lot older and grayer. Sure, Congress and the administration can walk and chew gum, but the substance and the process seems to change daily. Without a workable strategy and a clear message, breaking through on policy is going to be a challenge for this administration.

Top Reads

Please feel free to email us at info@acreform.com if you have any questions, stories or topics you would like us to include in our newsletter.

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