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jcitybone

Republicans Want to Make the Koch Brothers’ Political Donations Tax Deductible

Few adolescents who’ve sat through homilies would accuse priests or rabbis of lacking material. House Republicans beg to differ. Under their tax bill, religious institutions—and all nonprofits—would be able to endorse politicians for the first time since 1954.

The House tax cut plan would repeal a tax provision, known as the “Johnson Amendment,” that blocks churches and other nonprofits from electioneering. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a nonpartisan Congressional body, expects that this change would lead to billions of dollars of political-spending being routed through nonprofits that can collect tax-deductible contributions without disclosing their donors. As a result, mega-donors like the Koch brothers would likely get tax write-offs for funding television ads and get-out-the-vote operations.

Hardly any churches and nonprofits support the move, which watchdog groups warn could easily become the next Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the door to unlimited corporate political spending. The Senate tax bill leaves the Johnson Amendment in place, but that could change as the two chambers reconcile the differences between their bills.

The JCT predicts that the loophole will lead to an explosion of tax-deductible donations that would cost the government between $400 and $500 million per year in lost tax revenue. The government does not reimburse donations dollar for dollar—meaning the political spending could be four times higher than what the government loses in revenue, according to the National Council of Nonprofits. In other words, nonprofits would take in up to $2 billion of political donations per year. The Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign finance group, estimates that all federal elections in 2016 cost nearly $6.5 billion. (The House bill would reinstate the Johnson Amendment in 2024 for budgetary reasons, but Republicans would likely push to extend it.)

Don midwest
Don midwest

my God

how much worse?

magsview

Don’t ‘nonprofits’ already do plenty of electioneering? (See political wing of PP for ex.)

So much for churchgoers’ tithes going towards their pastor/minister/priest/iman/rabbi etc. etc., and the rest going towards funding community efforts aimed at relieving suffering?

Would this, in effect, turn some churches into money-laundering factories?

Hello? Holy Trinity? I’m considering making a large donation to your church. Also, I happen to be quite excited about ____ candidate for Governor. Do you think we’d make a good fit?

And the flow of money into the political process quickens.

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