The 2011-2012 Legislative Priorities for the Minnesota Council on Foundations includes the legislative proposals outlined below. The Council actively reaches out to Minnesota's Minnesota's elected officials and other policy makers to seek support for these measures. We will also collaborate with colleague organizations including the national Council on Foundations and other Regional Associations to achieve broad support for these issues across the sector.
Position: The Council supports the creation of a new tax credit that would provide an incentive for Minnesotans of all walks of life and all means to contribute to their local community foundation endowments.
Position: The Council supports the enactment of legislation that permits tax-free distribution to charities from Individual Retirement Accounts permanent and extending the benefit to individuals age 59 ½ and older and allowing contributions to donor advised funds and private foundations.
Position: The Council supports a revenue-neutral simplification of the private foundation excise tax to a single flat-rate that will encourage increased giving by private foundations.
Position: The estate tax is an important incentive to charitable giving during a donor's lifetime, as donors use charitable gifts to reduce their estates and the taxes they would otherwise pay on those estates. The Council supports an estate tax with reasonable thresholds and rates, but opposes full repeal of the estate tax.
Position: Changes to the link between an individual's tax rate and the charitable deduction rate they can claim make the tax code more complex and threaten to reduce the charitable giving needed to support worthy non-profits across the country. At a time when charities are faced with increasing demands from their communities, it is important that public policies support and encourage charitable giving. The Council strongly supports maintaining the current law with respect to itemized charitable deductions.
Position: Support the development of and take action when the Nonprofit Sector and Community Solutions Act (H.R. 5533) is reintroduced in the House of Representatives in 2011 by Minnesota's Fourth District Representative Betty McCollum.
Position: The Council supports the establishment and ongoing work of a Philanthropy Caucus in both the House and the Senate to keep members of Congress and their staffs informed about foundations and the roles they play in their communities.