Looming State Budget, Federal Tax Plan Cause Uneasiness Among Local Nonprofits

By Stephanie Menders | February 6, 2018 | Norwich Bulletin

NORWICH — As she sought resources after suffering from trauma-related issues, Kimberly Miller became a member of Reliance Health in 2012. Since then, she has gone back to school and began working part-time.

“And if it wasn’t for Reliance Health, I would not be standing in front of you today,” she said to a panel of five state legislators on Tuesday.

Miller, and nearly 80 others, packed the Otis Library Community Room for two hours in an effort to convince state legislators to keep their missions in mind during the General Assembly’s session, which begins on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s event was the fourth of its kind held throughout the state by the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance.

On the cusp of another state budget session and a new federal tax plan, alliance CEO Gian-Carl Casa said nonprofits may be entering into the “perfect storm” in the next few years.

Fifty-three percent of the state’s budget is fixed, Casa said. That portion includes debt and bond payments as well as contractual obligations. The other 47 percent is where legislators make cuts.

“And often, it’s nonprofits and resources that are on the chopping block,” he said.

Simultaneously, organizations are growing wary of the recently instituted GOP federal tax plan that they say would make it “more difficult” to obtain donations.

According to CNN Money, the final bill will preserve the state and local tax deduction for anyone who itemizes, but it will cap the amount that may be deducted at $10,000. Previously, the deduction was unlimited for state and local property taxes, as well as income or sales taxes.

According to Casa, a large portions of individuals who itemize their donations will no longer do so under the new tax plan.

“People who itemize give nearly twice as much in donations as people who do not itemize,” he said.

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