On Tuesday, March 26 HF293 (combined receipt rate reduction) and HF294 (sales tax exemption) were heard in the House Tax committee. Our thanks to chief authors Rep. Lien (HF293) and Rep. Dettmer (HF294) for their help and support. Thanks to Glen Jenkins of St. Paul Fire Relief and Tony Chesak of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association for testifying in support of tax relief. Thanks to Tom Deegan, President of the NE Mpls. Lions club for his letter in support of tax relief that was included in the record. Both bills were held over for possible inclusion into an Omnibus Tax bill. We are now where we need to be in both the House and Senate. Bills for possible inclusion cover combined receipt rate reduction, donation exemption from the gambling tax and sales tax exemption of our paper games and electronic revenue share. Link to the video of the hearing https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hjvid/91/892159
If you have not contacted your state senator or state representative, you still have time to do that. Find out who represents you at https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/ We need to keep reminding our legislators of the importance of relief prior to the Omnibus Tax bills being released late April/early May.
We now need to let Governor Walz know that this is important to us as well. You can write the Governor at https://mn.gov/governor/contact/ All you need to say is who you are, what organization you belong to, what your organization paid in taxes the past fiscal year, what you had left for donations and ask the Governor to support tax relief for charities. If we cannot get 1,000 of us to write the Governor on this subject, shame on us. I will be writing on behalf of my Legion and my Lions club, not Allied Charities. ACM does not hold a gambling license, it needs to come from where the rubber hits the road, in every organization and community throughout our state.
The folks that are against relief for us are working full time to keep the status quo. Their theme has not changed; expenses are our problem not taxes. Besides, only the “MEGA” charities, of which there are only a handful, pay the big taxes. You and I know that this is not true, but it sells when we don’t tell the real story. When you do, it makes a difference. If every one of the 340 organizations that are upside down let the Governor know how their organization is being impacted, it will be a big deal. Do not be silent. Tell your story.
Here is what my letter to the Governor said: Dear Governor Walz. My name is Allen Lund. I live in Maple Grove, MN. I belong to the Osseo Lions and the Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion. Both of these charities are licensed to conduct charitable gaming to raise funds for our community needs and organization missions. Both have only one gaming site, we are not the “MEGA” charities you may have been hearing about. In FY2018, the Osseo Lions paid $150,000 in gambling taxes while we had $132,000 for community and missions and the Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion paid $244,000 in gambling taxes while we had $267,000 for community and missions. We believe that more of the money rose locally needs to stay local. We ask for your support in this matter. Regards, Allen Lund