Tag Archives: nonprofit

Slatery, other Republican AGs call for protecting religious tax exemptions

News release from the attorney general’s office:
Attorney General Slatery and 14 other state Attorneys General have sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to take action to protect the tax-exempt status of nonprofit religious organizations following the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges.

The letter was prompted by comments U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. made during oral arguments in the case. The Solicitor General indicated that the federal government might decide, based on the outcome of the case, that certain religious organizations no longer qualify as tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code and also that contributions to these organizations are not deductible as charitable contributions.

“Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citizens have the right to exercise their religion freely without government pressure to change their minds or penalties for unpopular beliefs,” the letter states. (Note: Full text HERE.)

The letter asks that Congress modify the Internal Revenue Code to prevent the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of nonprofit religious organizations that disagree with the same-sex marriage decision.

“Congress has a long history of enacting laws that provide additional protection to religious groups,” said General Slatery. “Protecting the religious freedoms of our State’s citizens is a serious matter and we encourage members of Congress to take the necessary steps to preclude the IRS from targeting religious groups in any way.”

In addition to Tennessee, states signing on to the letter include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Note: Blogging Jamie Satterfield says the letter “misstates the facts,” amounts to “showboating” and is otherwise critical, HERE.

Corker: Don’t Sell TVA… But Maybe Give It Away

Tennessee Valley Authority might be better off severed from Uncle Sam, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker tells the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
Corker said he isn’t pushing to sell TVA to try to cut the federal debt, as President Obama proposed last month in his fiscal 2014 budget plan. With nearly $25 billion in debt, TVA probably wouldn’t fetch enough from buyers to pay what it owes, Corker said.
But new approaches for TVA, including converting the agency to a nonprofit corporation or transferring ownership to TVA distributors and customers, might help improve the utility, Corker said.
“I’ve not been comfortable with the federal government involvement with TVA and thinking that that is going to lead TVA to a great place,” Corker told the Times Free Press in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I worry that over time the fact that TVA is controlled by the federal government but in a laissez-fair manner could leave it less and less as an identity to drive economic growth in our state.”
Corker is splitting with most other Tennesseans in the Congress who have balked at a proposal in the Obama budget plan to conduct a strategic study on cutting TVA loose from the federal treasury.
“Reducing or eliminating the federal government’s role in programs such as TVA, which have achieved their original objectives and no longer require federal participation, can help put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path,” the White House says in its budget plan.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the ranking Republican on the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, said that spinning off the nation’s largest public utility could mean higher electricity prices for the seven states that the authority serves. Just the talk about selling TVA has hurt its bond values and raised TVA’s effective borrowing costs, Alexander said.
Even U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who denounced Obama a “socialist” in January, said the president’s suggestion to privatize TVA is “unsupportable and inexplicable.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority no longer receives any federal funds and is an independent federal corporation that relies entirely upon electric ratepayers to fund its $11 billion-a-year budget. TVA does enjoy the implied backing of the federal government through its federal ownership, which helps the agency maintain a top bond rating and borrow money at a lower rate than do private utilities
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DCS Commissioner’s Child Care Nonprofit Violated State Rules

The Knoxville nonprofit that Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Kate O’Day led for 10 years amassed numerous state rule violations before she left the agency, according to records obtained by The Tennessean.
Some of the violations that occurred while O’Day was CEO of Child and Family Tennessee were minor – personnel files missing dates that reference checks were completed — but others were far more serious.
On March 15, 2010, just nine months before becoming Gov. Bill Haslam’s pick to lead the state’s child welfare agency, O’Day was put on notice that DCS had “concerns for the safety and well-being of custodial youths placed at Child and Family Tennessee.” The nonprofit was a contractor hired by DCS to care for kids in foster care or residential treatment facilities.
DCS suspended all admissions to Child and Family, a step taken only for the most serious agency violations. In the case of Child and Family, those included inappropriately doling out group punishments for the actions of a single youth, missing medication records and a failure to focus on youths’ “needs, strengths and permanence,” among the eight serious findings outlined in a letter from DCS.
O’Day’s agency was one of three statewide that year whose admissions were frozen in 2010, but records obtained by the newspaper outline serious violations at the agency for annual inspections from 2006 to 2009. Pre-2006 inspection reports were not available.