Nonprofit Newswire | Nonprofits and the Sales Tax

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February 3, 2010; Spokesman Review | Nonprofit homeless shelters may soon get a small break in Idaho as the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, even in an environment where other exemptions are being questioned, voted to waive the state’s 6% sales tax for these groups until 2012. Currently nonprofit shelters in Idaho pay tax on such goods as toilet paper. This bill, if passed by the full house, would cost the state about $15,000 a year. This is, of course, relatively small potatoes, though probably very welcome but it does raise questions, as in the story below about the consequences of selecting out some categories of nonprofits for special tax treatment. In Kansas, on the other hand, legislators are considering a proposal to repeal the sales tax exemption for all nonprofits in the hopes of creating a balanced budget. The repeal would reportedly be damaging to many groups. “Overall, the impact could be 100 million dollars for nonprofits across the state,” said Perry Schuckman, Executive Director of Nonprofit Chamber Services. An alternate proposal would impose a sales tax on lottery tickets. As we have reported previously in these newswires, these moves to eliminate tax and fee waivers are occurring all across the United States.—Kristin Barrali