Want to stay up to date in the association world? This blog will provide you with news about members, industry updates, trends and more!
American Associations Day
On March 28-29th, MSAE advocated on Capitol Hill and joined the American Society of Association Executives for American Associations Day.
Association professionals from across the country presented members of Congress and policymakers with a unified message of the power of associations and the means, services, and missions in which they strengthen America, every day. Known as The Power of A, one-third of all Americans are a part of the association community, whether as employees, members, or volunteers.
For more information or to join future Michigan association delegations, contact Taylor Benavente.
Unrelated Business Income Tax
Despite size and structure, mission or purpose, those in the association and nonprofit sectors are equally accountable to – but not equally assessed by – the United States federal tax code; as are their counterparts in the for-profit sector.
In the tax world, organizations which specifically exist to improve our societal wellbeing, to tackle and advance tough issues, faith-based groups, etc. have for the past 70 years been intentionally seen as different from their corporate counterparts – with proportionate tax liabilities, respectively.
Since 1950, the United States has maintained a spirit of competitive-business freedom towards nonprofits and for-profits while still preventing unfair advantages between the sectors. One such prevention measure is the Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT).
UBIT is a tax on the income nonprofit organizations receive from business transactions they frequently conduct – but are not directly related their mission or purpose. An example of unrelated business income might be the advertisements an association sells in its weekly newsletter; with that income then being used in support of its core member services and benefits.
Nonprofits conduct this type of business as additional income in support of their “real” work – their organization’s mission or purpose.
However, following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, the nonprofit sector is newly being assessed a tax on nonprofit fringe benefits – things like parking and mass transit assistance – as if they were unrelated business income received by the organization.
The tax is proving to be a huge burden for the nonprofit community and carries implications to the future of the industry. Particularly with concerns to:
Multiple bills to repeal the nonprofit benefits tax have been introduced in the 116th Congress including H.R. 1545 by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and S. 632 by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).
For additional information, listen to MSAE’s discussion of UBIT with the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the American Society of Association Executives.
General Data Protection Regulation
Tech industry giants including Facebook and Google continue to see increasing pressure and scrutiny surrounding the developing frontier that is consumer data protection. As the United States’ rules and regulations are sorted out, they draw attention to consumer data laws implemented in Europe as a potential forecast of what might lie ahead.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), put into effect in May 2018, is a sweeping data protection law that affects all enterprises offering goods or services within the European Union as well as any business retaining or processing information on any European Union citizen.
Although most U.S. associations do not engage at the international level (and are therefore not currently liable to GDPR), industry groups such as ISACA – previously the Information Systems Audit and Control Association – suggest that all organizations become increasingly aware of developments to these data protection regulations.
Whether based abroad or here in Michigan, associations and how they collect, utilize, and maintain their primary knowledge base – their membership data – will be subject to the consequences of these developments.
With one week remaining in the Lame Duck session, the legislature continued to take up action on a number of bills including Michigan school grading systems, the right of the legislature to litigate, citizen-initiated bills, and more. The U.S. House and Senate also passed significant revisions to nonprofit fringe benefits and donor disclosure rules.
Advocacy Corner: January thru Mid-February Round-Up
Michigan’s 100th Legislature, executive branch, and the Michigan Supreme Court have each seen significant movement in shaping the state public policy arena through the first several weeks of 2019. A State of the State Address, a much anticipated release of the 2019 state budget, and more are discussed below in MSAE’s advocacy round-up through Friday, February 22nd.
On November 29, the Michigan Senate took action on three bills which seek to restructure campaign finance laws, state oversight of public elections, and the ability of the Michigan legislature to intervene in court proceedings.
The legislature also approved amendments to citizen-initiated bills which seek to change earned sick-leave and raising the state minimum wage.
Advocacy Corner: Week of March 1, 2019
Updates to the national Unrelated Business Income Tax, another round of Michigan auto insurance reform, state redistricting, and more in MSAE’s advocacy round-up through Friday, March 1st.
State and local officials made their return to the capitol city this week as we look back at the 2018 Lame Duck session and a brief look ahead at Michigan’s 2019 public policy arena.
Welcome to March! A repeal was introduced to combat Unrelated Business Income Tax, minimum wage advocates reignite 2018 Lame Duck debate, and Governor Whitmer released her 2019 budget recommendation.