Alaskan Town’s Sales Tax for Some Nonprofits Brings Confusion

January 29, 2017; Peninsula Clarion (Kenai, AK)

What’s fair in the taxation of nonprofits by local municipalities? NPQ has covered the issue of payments in lieu of taxes issue extensively; it mostly affects universities and hospitals—the eds and the meds. But there’s another realm of charges—fees and taxes—that hits smaller and larger operations alike. For more background on this, read “Death by a Thousand City Fees.”

Recently in Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly passed a set of tax reforms that included several new sources of revenue. One of them removed the exemption from collecting sales tax by nonprofits operating regular storefronts, like the Salvation Army.

Trying to Make Sense of the Trump Administration: Who Broke Up with Whom and Other Stories

January 26, 2017; BBC News

Over the past few days, we’ve all watched a number of situations where accounts of what’s occurring inside the Beltway conflict. The resignation of four highly placed state department officials reported yesterday has been characterized by major media sources as 1) a firing, 2) a resignation in advance of Tillerson’s assuming the lead and in protest of the tone being set, or 3) just normal turnover. So the fact that for a while it was somewhat unclear who cancelled the meeting next week between Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is no surprise. It seems that the media is, as with some other issues, trying valiantly to get a straight story out of the administration as one set of assertions quickly supplants another. In the case of Mexico, it’s something of a who-broke-up-with-whom scenario, but with about $600 billion a year’s worth of stakes.

Widespread Form 1023-EZ Abuse Reported by IRS

New report contains a stinging indictment of the IRS’s “absurd” handling of applications for tax exemption, especially the recently introduced 1023-EZ “short form” designed for use by small new charities.