Nonprofit Independence Upheld as Johnson Amendment Protected in Final Tax Bill

The independence of the nonprofit community was upheld last night as the language that would have severely impeded nonprofits’ ability to pursue their missions was stricken from the final version of the tax reform bill.

During deliberations in the Senate late Thursday, the chamber’s parliamentarian blocked language that would have repealed the Johnson Amendment, an important provision in the current tax code that prohibits charitable organizations from endorsing candidates for political office.

“While the final tax bill set to be revealed today will contain a litany of provisions harmful to our sector, nonprofits will be able to operate free from partisan politics, ‘dark money,’ and tax-deductible political contributions. This represents a significant win for the integrity of nonprofits across Massachusetts,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MMN).

Over the past few weeks, MNN activated its members in an expansive email and phone call campaign directed towards federal representatives integral in tax reform deliberations, including Representative Richard Neal of the Massachusetts 1st Congressional District, the ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.

But the fight for the Johnson Amendment is far from over, Klocke noted, as Congressional leaders may try to repeal the Amendment in the near future.

“We look forward to continuing our work with our members and colleagues as we pursue our ultimate public policy goal: enacting policies that strengthen and unite, not divide, our communities.”