Current Issues

State

MNN Joins Nonprofit Colleagues in Opposing PILOTs Legislation

On June 13, 2017, MNN joined our colleagues from across the sector in testifying before the Joint Committee on Revenue on proposed legislation which would be harmful and burdensome to nonprofits across the Commonwealth. Joining MNN on the panel was the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, The Trustees of Reservations, and the Massachusetts Council of Churches. At the hearing, MNN CEO Jim Klocke testified in opposition to 3 bills, all of which relate to payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) or the right of first refusal. To read MNN’s full testimony before the committee, click here.

MNN Sends Letter to Ways and Means Chairs to Express Concerns about the Employer Health Care Assessment

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, MNN submitted a letter to Chairwoman Karen Spilka and Chairman Brian Dempsey of the Committee on Ways and Means to express concerns about the employer health care assessment proposal included in Governor Baker’s FY2018 Budget. This proposal would unfairly burden many nonprofits that have employees who elect coverage through a spouse’s or parent’s private insurance plan, Medicare, or the VA. Read the letter here.

MNN Stands with its Members as Final Decision on Employer Health Care Assessment Reached

Governor Baker signed into law an assessment that is targeted, smaller than the original proposal, and does not unfairly penalize nonprofits whose employees receive health insurance from other non-public sources. In the months that followed, MNN worked with members, other employer associations, and state officials to identify better options. MNN ensured that the perspectives of Massachusetts nonprofits were front and center, cognizant that nonprofits operate on thin margins and are frequently being asked to do more with less. The details of the  final assessment include:

  • A January 1, 2018 effective date with a sunset 2 years after implementation.
  • For employers with 6 or more employees, an increase to a fee they already pay, the employer medical assistance contribution (EMAC), of $26 per employee annually.
  • For employers with 6 or more employees who have employees on MassHealth or ConnectorCare, an additional charge of up to $750 for each employee receiving those benefits (the assessment is calculated at 5% of the first $15,000 of annual pay).
  • Two years of unemployment insurance relief, estimated to save employers a total of $344 million in 2018 and 2019.

The assessment represents a substantial improvement from the original health care penalty proposed by the Baker Administration in January that would have cost many employers as much as $2,000 per employee on spousal, parental, veterans or Medicare coverage. For more information on the assessment, click here.

Federal

MNN Publishes One-Pager on the Johnson Amendment

The Johnson Amendment, a provision in the U.S. tax code, prohibits all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. With comprehensive tax legislation a priority for Congress, and President Trump publicly calling for a repeal of the Johnson Amendment, efforts to make changes to or repeal the Johnson Amendment have been proposed. Read the one-pager here.

MNN Publishes One-Pager on the Federal Charitable Tax Deduction 

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the federal Charitable Tax Deduction, an incentive that encourages individuals to give to charitable organizations whose missions they support. Over the past century, the incentive has generated critical resources to further the work of domestic violence shelters, early childhood programs, food banks, religious organizations, homeless shelters, and all other charitable nonprofits. With President Trump and Congressional leaders indicating that federal tax reform is a priority, nonprofits throughout Massachusetts are concerned about any tax code changes that would affect charitable giving. Read the one-pager here.

MNN Sends Letter to Massachusetts Congressional Delegation to Protect Nonprofits’ Nonpartisan Status

On Thursday, March 9, 2017, MNN submitted letters to the Massachusetts congressional delegation to express strong opposition to legislation (S.264/H.R. 781) that would make changes to the Johnson Amendment, which protects charitable nonprofits, foundations, and religious congregations from political activities and allows them to be nonpartisan problem-solvers. Read the letter here.

MNN Joins Hundreds in D.C. to Preserve Charitable Giving

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, as a member of the Charitable Giving Coalition, MNN joined hundreds of nonprofit leaders from around the country for a fly-in lobby day on Capitol Hill. The Massachusetts team, which included MNN, United Way of Central Massachusetts, Boston University, Williams College Museum of Art, The American Red Cross, and the Faith and Giving Coalition, met with members of the Massachusetts delegation and urged them to preserve and expand charitable giving. We shared statistics about the breadth and depth of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector and the importance of individual donations. Click here to see a copy of the letter that we sent to the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation.