Wednesday, August 31, 2005

U.S. Newswire : Releases : "New Poll Finds Americans Support Estate Tax 2 to 1..."


U.S. Newswire : Releases : "New Poll Finds Americans Support Estate Tax 2 to 1...": "New Poll Finds Americans Support Estate Tax 2 to 1; National Petition Shows Growing Support for Tax Among Farmers, Businesspeople

8/31/2005 10:29:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Christina Kasica of United for a Fair Economy, 617-423-2148 ext. 119 or 617-966-0445 (cell)

BOSTON, Aug. 31 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A new poll shows 59 percent of Americans across the political and income spectrum favor estate tax reform as opposed to 29 percent who favor outright repeal -- a 2 to 1 ratio. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on estate tax repeal the week of September 5. The poll was sponsored by the Coalition for America's Priorities, of which United for a Fair Economy (UFE) is a member. The poll findings can be seen at"

FREE column: Don't hurt charitable giving in Montana

FREE column: Don't hurt charitable giving in Montana: "One-size-fits-all rules are rarely effective. Congressional acts are like operating with blunt instruments. Rarely do they result in precise, well-defined law. Unintended consequences and perverse incentives are the rule. This effort is no exception.

By enacting rules in response to a few particularly flagrant, widely publicized abuses, regulators would impose burdens of paperwork, record keeping and other costs on all nonprofits, regardless of size. This will likely result in costs that outweigh the benefits.

The impacts to Montana nonprofits will be particularly onerous. For example, compliance with the new rules will cost organizations at least $1,000 per year. With almost 9,000 nonprofits across the state, this means close to $9 million will be spent on compliance. This is money that will no longer be available for either charitable giving or operations.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Brownfield: Grassley not optimistic about estate tax repeal

Brownfield: Grassley not optimistic about estate tax repeal

The Capital Times-Editorial: Don't kill estate tax

The Capital Times: "Editorial: Don't kill estate tax

An editorial
August 30, 2005
When U.S. Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl return to Washington in September, one of the first matters they will consider is a Bush administration proposal to permanently eliminate the estate tax even for the wealthiest Americans"

Monday, August 29, 2005 news-"4th Circuit upholds limits on charity telemarketing news: "4th Circuit upholds limits on charity telemarketing

By The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Telemarketing restrictions that apply to professional fundraisers hired by charitable organizations were upheld late last week by a divided federal appeals court panel.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 ruled that a Federal Trade Commission regulation is narrowly drawn to serve the legitimate government purpose of protecting citizens’ privacy in their homes." - Opposing groups ready for estate tax fight - Opposing groups ready for estate tax fight: "Opposing groups ready for estate tax fight
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Conservative and business groups bent on permanently repealing the federal tax on multimillion dollar estates are mounting an intensive advertising and lobbying campaign this week that's designed to influence a Senate vote early next month."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Claremore Progress - Local News-"Hiett: No more estate tax

Claremore Progress - Local News: "Hiett: No more estate tax
Originally published on Thursday, August 25

By Luke Engan
CNHI News Service

OKLAHOMA CITY — House Speaker Todd Hiett Wednesday pledged his support for an end to Oklahoma’s estate tax.

“The death tax stifles Oklahoma economically,” said Hiett, R-Kellyville.

Luke Engan/ CNHI News Service House Speaker Todd Hiett, R-Kellyville, announces he will support eliminating Oklahoma’s estate tax in the spring.
No state bordering Oklahoma levies estate taxes, which are assessed on people who inherit estates when somebody dies."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Southwest Nebraska News-Gov. Heineman Touts State Tax Credit for Charitable Donations

Southwest Nebraska News - from the Republican Valley Media Group, McCook, NE: "Gov. Heineman Touts State Tax Credit for Charitable Donations

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman held a ceremonial bill signing for LB 28, which offers state income tax credits for qualified individual and corporate donations made to non-profit organizations with endowments based in Nebraska.

The Oklahoma Daily Online Edition - Oklahoma rep pushes ending estate tax

The Oklahoma Daily Online Edition - Oklahoma rep pushes ending estate tax: "Oklahoma rep pushes ending estate tax
The measure will reduce Oklahoma taxes by $80 million.

by Ron Jenkins (AP)

August 24, 2005

OKLAHOMA CITY - House Speaker Todd Hiett said Wednesday he will push for abolishing the Oklahoma estate tax next year, an $80 million tax reduction.

``It's time to end the death tax once and for all,'' Hiett said. ``It's just plain wrong to make death a taxable event.''

He said the estate tax, or inheritance tax, is hurting the state economically since all bordering states have abolished the tax." - Politics - Estate Tax May Not Be Repealed for Good - Politics - Estate Tax May Not Be Repealed for Good: "Estate Tax May Not Be Repealed for Good
Thursday, August 25, 2005

Senate Protects Future Tax Cuts
WASHINGTON — The unpopular estate tax is in the process of being phased out, but under the current rules, one year after it is gone altogether, it will come back at its original rate.

When President Bush and Congress get back from their summer break next month, one of the issues still on the table will be the president's call to end the estate tax for good."

Donating a gift of instant deductibility - Business - Business - Australia

Donating a gift of instant deductibility - Business - Business - "Donating a gift of instant deductibility
By Leon Gettler
Management Reporter
August 25, 2005

IN A bid to bring Australia's relatively stingy amounts of workplace philanthropy closer to levels seen in the US and Britain, the Federal Government has announced a new program to accelerate charity contributions through payroll deductions."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

OMB Watch - Action Expected on Charitable Giving Legislation in September

OMB Watch - Action Expected on Charitable Giving Legislation in September: "Action Expected on Charitable Giving Legislation in September

The Senate Finance Committee intends to introduce a package of nonprofit accountability reforms and charitable giving tax incentives soon, according to sources on the Hill.

Sources say the committee hopes to mark up the Charity Aid and Recovery Act (CARE) in September. The CARE Act, contained in Title III of S. 6, the Marriage, Opportunity, Relief, and Empowerment Act of 2005 (MORE Act), includes several charitable-giving incentives, including a charitable deduction for itemizers, and tax-free distributions to charities from individual retirement accounts. The bill also contains provisions to improve the oversight of exempt organizations, including providing more money for IRS-oversight operations and making public more IRS determination letters."

Repeal of estate tax too costly

Repeal of estate tax too costly: "Editorial:

Repeal of estate tax too costly

Copyright 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

Within the next couple months, the United States Senate will vote on whether to permanently repeal the federal estate tax. The House of Representatives has already voted for permanent repeal, and President Bush clearly supports it."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Tallahassee Democrat | 08/21/2005 | Death of estate tax really means we'll pay more taxes

Tallahassee Democrat | 08/21/2005 | Death of estate tax really means we'll pay more taxes: "Death of estate tax really means we'll pay more taxes

Neil Skene
My View

A majority of Americans support repeal of the estate tax, according to the polls, but I wonder if they understand that the repeal will actually increase the taxes everyone pays on inherited property."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Australian Churches, Charitable Institutions Tax Status in Jeopardy

Australian Churches, Charitable Institutions Tax Status in Jeopardy: "Australian Churches, Charitable Institutions Tax Status in Jeopardy

SYDNEY, August 18, 2005 ( – Australia’s opposition party is calling on the ruling coalition government to clarify new restrictions placed on churches and other charitable institutions, which stipulate that criticism of the government or its policies can lead to revocation of their charitable tax status." - House Republicans set to push tax cuts _VIRGINIA - House Republicans set to push tax cuts: "House Republicans set to push tax cuts

Featured Advertiser
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Howell, House Republicans pushing elimination of estate tax, back-to-school tax holiday


Date published: 8/19/2005


RICHMOND--Speaker Bill Howell and other Republicans in the House of Delegates said yesterday they'll be pushing for two tax cuts in the 2006 legislative session."

Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - People-"New legislation aims at preventing fraudulent fund-rising efforts

Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - People: "New legislation aims at preventing fraudulent fund-rising efforts

print this
New proposed legislation is aimed at giving officials more power to react to fraudulent fund-raising efforts.
'The faith and confidence of the citizens in fund raising drives must be restored', said Minister of the Interior Kari Rajam�ki (SDP) at a press conference on Thursday. Shortly before that, the government had decided on the content of a bill for a new law on fund raising drives.
Under the proposal, organisations seeking a fund-raising permit will need to give more detailed information than before on how the drive is to be implemented, and what the money is to be used for.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fast Company Now

Fast Company Now: "Death and Taxes

It's a hot button issue, the Estate Tax, also known as the 'Death Tax.' The political sides are fairly well defined -- republicans want the Estate Tax abolished and are pressuring democrats to make this happen. Should this happen, the New York Times projects that it may cost the government a trillion dollars by 2011."

Reform, don't repeal, estate tax

Reform, don't repeal, estate tax: "EDITORIAL
Reform, don't repeal, estate tax

Thursday, August 18, 2005

SEN. JON KYL, R-Ariz., will throw down the gauntlet when the Senate returns to session next month -- Repeal the estate tax now. Kyl, however, lacks the votes to end what he calls the 'death tax' and so is quietly discussing various compromises, most notably dropping the tax rate to 15 percent from the current 47 perce"

The Billings Outpost-Keep Estate Tax

The Billings Outpost: "Keep estate tax

You and I, 96 percent of the taxpayers, are being fed the “Big Lie” by the wealthy about the estate tax, which those same wealthy, who are the only ones who will benefit by it being done away with, are calling the “death tax.” Nowhere in the law will you find it referred to as the “death” tax.

Ninety-six percent of we taxpayers will get no benefit at all if the estate tax is permanently repealed. As a matter of fact, those 96 percent of us will pay more of our other taxes to make up for the loss of the estate tax."

Alan Reynolds: Estate-tax spin

Alan Reynolds: Estate-tax spin: "Estate-tax spin
Alan Reynolds (archive)

August 18, 2005 | printer friendly version Print | email to a friend Recommend to a friend

Just after the 2001 tax bill was enacted, I noted that the estate tax would be repealed 'only for one year (2010). In that same year, assets would begin to be inherited at their purchase price rather than market value (carryover basis), so heirs would inherit old capital-gains tax liabilities. ... If carryover basis were maintained after 2010 ... then heirs could end up brutally taxed on both the value of inherited assets and old gains on those assets.'

A Wall Street Journal fact-checker called, thinking I surely must have made a mistake. But Congress made the mistake and has to fix it." - Needham Times - Opinion & Letters-"Editorial: A fair regulation for financial disclosure - Needham Times - Opinion & Letters: "Editorial: A fair regulation for financial disclosure
Thursday, August 18, 2005

State Sen. Marian Walsh has filed legislation that would require religious organizations and churches to follow the same financial disclosure rules as other nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts. If passed by the Legislature, it would also mandate that every charitable organization in the state disclose the property it owns.
Currently, all nonprofits except religious organizations are required to file 'Form PC' with the attorney general on an annual basis. This disclosure form is meant to protect donors from waste and fraud by these organizations. There is no reason why the same protection should not also be afforded to those who contribute to religious-based entities.

" | Providence, R.I. | Opinion: Columnists-Keep pols out of church's crisis | Providence, R.I. | Opinion: Columnists: "David A. Mittell Jr.: Keep pols out of church's crisis

01:00 AM EDT on Thursday, August 18, 2005


STATE SEN. Marian Walsh (D.-Dedham) has filed legislation requiring churches in Massachusetts to submit annual reports to the state detailing their collections, expenditures, funds on hand, investments, real-estate holdings, etc.

The proposed law would apply to all religions, and their churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, tents or storefronts. But the clear impetus for the bill was two cataclysmic events in the Roman Catholic Church: the long-running sexual-abuse scandal and the closure of many venerable parishes in the Boston Archdiocese."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Magic City Morning Star: The Day The Death Tax Died

Magic City Morning Star: The Day The Death Tax Died: "The Day The Death Tax Died
By Jack Faris
Aug 15, 2005, 15:33

September 6. If you're an American small-business owner, draw a red circle around this date on your calendar. It could be one of the most important dates of your life, the lives of your family and the future existence of your business.

In less than 30 days, on September 6, the United States Senate will reconvene in legislative session and is scheduled to take action on the Death Tax. Which means that between now and then, those elected lawmakers who can determine the survival of small businesses are not in Washington, D.C., but are back home in their states. Small-business owners need to take this unique opportunity to meet with their senators face-to-face to tell them to vote to repeal one of the most dangerous tax measures ever to see the light of day - the Death Tax.

Vail Daily News-The law of giving

Vail Daily News for Vail and Beaver Creek Colorado - News: "The law of giving

Rohn K. Robbins
August 15, 2005

The law of giving? You mean there's a law about who or how I can give my 'good stuff' to if I want to? Well, sort of. Law, as you might have guessed now, after almost nine years of these columns where I've been drumming the theme, touches every aspect of our lives. Its one of the reasons I, for one, am so fascinated with it. From the moment of birth to beyond the grave, law organizes and directs our being and our interaction with one another. I do not think it a far stretch, nor hyperbole, to say that in one way or another law (at least in the good ol' USA) touches almost every aspect of human undertakings and behavior.

One essential aspect of 'giving' involves taxes. Taxes, of course, are the product of the Tax Code which is itself a product of legislation. Legislation (that is the enactments of legislatures, both state and federal) are nothing more that statutory encodations of the law. The Tax Code is a law? Yep, a collection of them really. What all those complicated rules and regulations amount to, when distilled to their nefarious essence, are the laws of tithing to the government, the 'we' and 'us' that collectively makes up our nation."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Wisconsin State Journal-Fix estate tax, don't gut it

Wisconsin State Journal: "OPINION
Fix estate tax, don't gut it
00:00 am 8/15/05

The federal estate tax ought to be reformed, but the super-rich should not get off virtually tax-free. That's why the Senate should adjust its aim as it works on a compromise reform plan.

It should be counted as progress that the Senate is now focusing on reform of the estate tax rather than repeal. A bill to repeal the tax passed the House earlier this year but thankfully ran into a roadblock in the Senate. Eliminating the estate tax would have produced a long list of negative consequences, from adding to the federal budget deficit, to reducing charitable donations, to expanding the gap between the upper crust and the rest of us." - Opinion & Letters: State role in church regs intrusive - Opinion & Letters: State role in church regs intrusive: "State role in church regs intrusive
By Diane Kessler
Monday, August 15, 2005

The phrase ``blinding anger'' is appropriate to describe the energy that many Roman Catholics are caught up in as the Legislature considers Senate Bill 1074, ``An Act Relative to Charities in Massachusetts.''
This legislation would require all religious bodies – churches, synagogues, temples, mosques – to report their finances and real estate holdings to the state attorney general. The potential impact on other religious bodies is an afterthought, captured by the oft-used phrase ``non-Catholic,'' as if these other churches and people of other faiths have no identity other than a derivative one. Yet serious principles of religious liberty are at stake here. "

Senate plans crackdown on charity abuses

Senate plans crackdown on charity abuses: "enate plans crackdown on charity abuses

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Finance Committee is planning to crackdown on those who abuse charitable contributions.

Since 1995, the number of charities registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has grown from 1.3 million to 1.8 million, but the IRS audited just one in 149 charities in 2004, reported Forbes magazine.

'Congress is bound and determined to help rout out taxpayers who abuse the system,' warns Vaughn Henry, a charitable-gift consultant in Springfield, Ill.

The bi-partisan bill is expected to address contributions made to funds such as the charitable arms of Fidelity and Vanguard or a community foundation that can be tax deductible to the donor. Some donors are taking the deduction and "

Questions raised about publisher's donation to governor's pet charity

Questions raised about publisher's donation to governor's pet charity: "Questions raised about publisher's donation to governor's pet charity

Saturday, August 13, 2005

(08-13) 22:55 PDT SACRAMENTO, (AP) --

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not report that tabloid publisher American Media Inc. gave $250,000 to one of his favorite charities this year — a move critics say may violate state ethics law.

The publisher of the National Enquirer and popular bodybuilding magazines donated the money to the nonprofit California Gov.'s Council on Physical Fitness, according to documents American Media filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission describing the end of the company's business relationship with Schwarzenegger.

But the Fair Political Practices Commission has no record of the gift, a spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle Friday."

Law planned to monitor your charity(INDIA)

Law planned to monitor your charity: "Law planned to monitor your charity
Law Commission proposes authority to monitor collection and accounts
Send Feedback E-mail this story Print this story
Posted online: Saturday, August 13, 2005 at 0328 hours IST

Tsunami relief: You may have to register NEW DELHI, AUGUST 12: Collection of relief funds in times of calamity has always invited charges of misuse, some credible. To check their recurrence, the Law Commission of India has proposed to the Centre a new law for regulating and monitoring the collection and utilisation of funds by NGOs and private groups in the name of calamity relief or rehabilitation of war-affected soldiers." | Tax cops too soft on charity fraud: report | Tax cops too soft on charity fraud: report: "Tax cops too soft on charity fraud: report

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Federal tax cops have been lax in monitoring Canada's 81,000 registered charities, a growing number of which are involved in fraudulent activity, says an internal report.

The charities directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency operates a database that's riddled with errors, takes too long to complete its investigations, and is haphazard about which charities it targets for examination, says the April 2005 document."

MetroWest Daily News - Local News Coverage-"How is parish money spent?

MetroWest Daily News - Local News Coverage: "How is parish money spent?
By Stacey Hart / Daily News Staff
Sunday, August 14, 2005

SUDBURY -- Local legislators and St. Anselm's parishioners back a proposed bill that would make public the financial records of religious organizations.
'When you give to a charity, I think everyone should know where your money goes,' said Rep. Susan Pope, R-Wayland.
The legislation, filed by Sen. Marian Walsh, D-West Roxbury, would amend an existing law and require religious organizations such as the Archdiocese of Boston to file annual financial reports with the attorney general. It would also require all public charities to list real estate holdings as part of the financial reports. "

Daily Nonpareil - Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil - 08/13/2005 - New law is focus of grant symposium

Daily Nonpareil - Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil - 08/13/2005 - New law is focus of grant symposium:

snip snip>>
"Thompson said the 'Endow Iowa' legislation, the focus of the symposium's general session, is of particular interest to her.

The Endow Iowa Tax Credit was approved in 2003 and updated in both the 2004 and 2005 legislative sessions as part of the Iowa Values Fund Legislation. It authorized tax credits for 20 percent of an individual's endowment gift to a qualified community foundation, such as the Pottawattamie County Conservation Foundation."

Friday, August 12, 2005

SitNews - Column:'Death tax' debate alive and kicking in Senate By ANN McFEATTERS

SitNews - Column:'Death tax' debate alive and kicking in Senate By ANN McFEATTERS: "Death tax' debate alive and kicking in Senate
Block News Alliance
August 11, 2005

WASHINGTON - Once again, we are about to be hit with an emotional barrage of misleading 'information' about the nation's urgent need to deal with the federal estate tax, which President Bush dubs the 'death tax' and demands 'must be repealed forever.'

In an essay for The Wall Street Journal, Senate Republican leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, insists the 'death tax is the cruelest, most unfair tax our government imposes.' He said that in the first week after Labor Day he will call for a Senate vote to repeal it. 'There will be no more hiding on the issue of permanent death-tax repeal,' he warned."

The 1% Split Over Estate Taxes

The 1% Split Over Estate Taxes: "The 1% Split Over Estate Taxes
The Few at the Top of the Heap Disagree on How to Keep the Most

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, August 12, 2005; Page D01
The very rich and the merely rich are fighting over the fate of the estate tax.
So far, the very rich are winning.

Small-business owners -- the merely rich -- want to exempt from taxation inheritances of up to $10 million. The very rich -- people whose estates are worth tens of millions or even billions of dollars -- want instead to reduce the tax rate on assets passed on at death. A $10 million exemption isn't nearly enough for them."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

News & Features | Where’s the outrage?

News & Features | Where’s the outrage?: "RENDERING UNTO CAESAR

The legislation filed by State Senator Marian Walsh of West Roxbury and supported by 32 colleagues (many of whom are cultural conservatives, especially on the hot-button issue of choice), which would require churches to file annual financial statements and list real-estate holdings with the Attorney General’s Division of Public Charities, is a welcome development.

It would introduce a much-needed measure of transparency to believers who financially support their churches. At the same time, it would not infringe in any way upon the ecclesiastical prerogatives of the churches themselves."

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah-Task force calls for a flat-tax draft

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah: "Task force calls for a flat-tax draft
By Matt Canham
The Salt Lake Tribune

A proposal to create a one-rate income tax devoid of any deductions or exemptions may not be thriving in the Legislature's tax reform task force, but it's far from dying.
'Rumors of its demise may have been exaggerated,' said Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, a member of the task force that voted Wednesday to request state lawyers draft legislation for a 4 percent flat tax.
That move came just days after Senate President John Valentine, a Republican, publicly criticized the proposal, saying it shifts too much of the tax burden to the poor. "

No on church disclosure bill - The Boston Globe

No on church disclosure bill - The Boston Globe: "No on church disclosure bill

By John Garvey | August 11, 2005

CATHOLICS in Boston have had a hard time the last few years. The clergy sexual abuse scandal and the parish closings have involved a lot of heartbreak. And a lot of money. The abuse settlement cost $85 million. The parishes scheduled for closing are worth more than that. Some Catholics are unhappy with the church's handling of these matters. Some blame the closings on the abuse settlement. (Not so. It was paid for by sale of the church's Brighton headquarters.) Others contend that the wrong parishes were slated for closing. The archdiocese tried to anticipate these concerns by involving the laity in the initial closing recommendations. And canon law allows people to appeal closings within the church's legal system. Some have already done this."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - Weymouth News - Local News-"Bill proposes churches disclosing finances - Weymouth News - Local News: "Bill proposes churches disclosing finances
By Robert Aicardi/
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

There are 32 co-sponsors of an unprecedented proposed law which would require the Archdiocese of Boston and other Massachusetts churches to make their financial statements public.
A legislative hearing concerning 'An Act Relative to Charities,' also known as Senate..."

Let the sun shine in - The Boston Globe

Let the sun shine in - The Boston Globe: "Let the sun shine in

By Thomas P. O'Neill III and Steven Krueger | August 10, 2005

''SUNLIGHT IS the best disinfectant' is a credo that has shaped public policy over the past century, primarily in the private sector and most recently with the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. Following that trend, last year Congress held hearings to curb abuses in the charitable services sector. Ultimately, sunlight protects constituents of an organization from breaches of trust that will inevitably occur through human administration, from Enron to the Catholic Church. Legislation proposed by state Senator Marian Walsh of West Roxbury seeks to provide that sunlight, and, in the end, protection for donors of religious organizations."

OMB Watch - Estate Tax Vote Slated for September -- Take Action Now!

OMB Watch - Estate Tax Vote Slated for September -- Take Action Now!: "Estate Tax Vote Slated for September -- Take Action Now!

The long run-up to legislative action in the Senate on the estate tax appears to be coming to a close. The day before the chamber recessed in July, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) filed a motion to proceed to consider H.R. 8, the House passed estate tax repeal bill. This bill will be one of the first items the Senate is expected to take up when it returns in September, and it is quite likely that this repeal bill will ultimately serve as a vehicle for a bad estate tax reform proposal by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Future of estate tax depends on justice - Staff

Future of estate tax depends on justice - Staff: "Future of estate tax depends on justice
Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - Bangor Daily News

Efforts to repeal the federal estate tax are on hold right now, but when the Senate resumes deliberations after its August break this contentious issue is sure to reappear. Maine's two moderate Republicans are already targets of intense lobbying efforts.

Familiar arguments about self-reliance, creating wealth rather than taxing it, and the virtues of small business will be trotted out in an effort to promote estate tax repeal. Such arguments are misleading. Maine's senators can do more to broaden economic opportunity and foster the interests of small businesses by supporting reform rather than repeal of the estate tax.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Roseville California and Rocklin California Today-Facts on estate tax

Roseville California and Rocklin California Today (News, Yellow Pages & Community Site): "Facts on estate tax
Scripps Howard News Service

The federal estate tax, which has been staging a gradual vanishing act, is scheduled to disappear entirely in 2010 under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. But the estate tax will spring back to life in 2011 unless Congress revises the law." Panel report an early indication of changes coming for nonprofits "SANDI P. BEASON: Panel report an early indication of changes coming for nonprofits

8/8/2005 5:13:18 AM
Daily Journal
If you work or volunteer for a nonprofit agency, the way you conduct business may be about to change dramatically.
This summer, Congress got its hands on a 116-page report outlining ways to better regulate nonprofits. The Senate Finance Committee has been toying with ways ensure nonprofits' accountability since October, and the report offered a wide variety of suggestions.
And although the suggestions were made by nonprofit agencies, some of them could be very hard to swallow if they become federal law.

(This is a soapbox I've been on before, but judging from the lack of attention this movement is getting in the national media, it's fair to say many people involved in nonprofits still don't know about this.)


Salt Lake Tribune - Utah-Backers fear Utah tax fix is bogged down

Salt Lake Tribune - Utah: "Backers fear Utah tax fix is bogged down
Task force stumped? Senate president has said group may fall far short of reform goals
By Glen Warchol
The Salt Lake Tribune

Tax reform advocates fear a legislative task force has lost momentum and, without a jump-start, will fail to bring meaningful change to Utah's antiquated tax code.
Supporters counting on a reform package being ready for action by the Legislature in January were shocked at Senate President John Valentine's reportedly pessimistic view of action on tax reform. "

The Independent- "What's legal here?

The Independent: "What's legal here?

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Independent staff

The rattling of a thousand bingo balls in a cage. The scratching of a coin’s edge against the glossy surface of a lottery ticket. The electronic shuffling of a deck of cards in an online casino. The exasperated groan of defeat – and the joyous shrieks of victory.

As community and state leaders debate the prospect of a casino in our region – a plan that could face a long road ahead, wrought with legal, social and moral obstacles – the sounds of gambling are none too distant.

While some Stark County gamblers hit casinos out of state, others find their fun – or their fix – here at home.

For a good cause, of course.

While casino gambling is against the law in the state of Ohio, there are exceptions." Opinion : Orlando News- EDITORIAL-Reform, not repea Opinion : Orlando News: "Reform, not repeal
Our position: Estate tax shouldn't be dropped but deserves higher exemptions.

Posted August 6, 2005

After a binge of spending and tax cutting that will add tens of billions of dollars to this nation's mushrooming debt, Congress has taken a break for its annual August recess. Thank goodness.

But when members return to Capitol Hill next month, the Senate is expected to consider a House proposal that would do further damage to America's balance sheet: a permanent repeal of the federal tax on estates. The timing couldn't be much worse.

With Congress unwilling to bring taxes and spending in line, the federal government is stuck in a rut of annual budget deficits. The House estate-tax proposal would add almost $290 billion to those deficits over the next decade, according to Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation.

Non-cash gifts could dwindle if law is changed -

Non-cash gifts could dwindle if law is changed - "non-cash gifts could dwindle if law is changed

An unusual gift
Sidney L. Davis/Tribune-Review

By Bill Zlatos
Sunday, August 7, 2005

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History itches for fleas. Penn State University's passion involves bull semen.

Fleas and bull semen are just two of the unusual donations to local nonprofit groups. Some gifts can be worth millions. That's why some nonprofit groups are fretting about proposals pending in Congress to restrict such kinds of gifts." - Program puts eateries' food on plates of needy, hungry - Program puts eateries' food on plates of needy, hungry: "The Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment Act

A measure that would allow family farmers, ranchers and restaurant owners to deduct the costs of food donated to hunger-relief charities. Problems between the House and Senate on other parts of the bill were a key factor in the amendment not being agreed to by Congress in 2004."

Washington Bureau -'Stars line up' in Congress for business priorities

Washington Bureau - "Two other priorities for the small business community -- estate tax repeal and association health plans -- await action when Congress returns in September.

Groups that favor permanent repeal of the estate tax will spend August lobbying senators. The tax, which is levied on inherited assets, will be phased out in 2010 but will return in 2011 unless Congress takes additional action.

The House has passed legislation to make estate tax repeal permanent several times. The Senate will vote on this legislation as soon as it returns to Washington, but most observers doubt the bill will get the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles."

Bill would force church to disclose its finances - The Boston Globe

Bill would force church to disclose its finances - The Boston Globe: "Bill would force church to disclose its finances
Attitude shifts on Beacon Hill

By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff | August 8, 2005

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, still dealing with the fallout from the clergy abuse crisis and upheaval over church closings, faces a major battle on Beacon Hill this week as lawmakers push for an unprecedented measure to force the church to open its books to the public.

The legislation, authored by state Senator Marian Walsh and backed by 32 other lawmakers, is being considered at a time when the church faces deep skepticism and in some cases open hostility from politicians on Beacon Hill and at City Hall. Some lawmakers who champion the bill, which will be brought up at a hearing Wednesday, previously stood side by side with church leaders on policy issues like abortion"

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Pilot-Independent - Walker, Minnesota- "Conservation easements still in the crosshairs of public officials

The Pilot-Independent - Walker, Minnesota: "Conservation easements still in the crosshairs of public officials
by Babe Winkelman
The Pilot-Independent
Last Updated: Thursday, August 04th, 2005 08:11:11 AM

The heat is on, folks.
While Congressional lawmakers continue to scrutinize the validity of conservation easements in our nation's capitol, the Internal Revenue Service is now weighing in on the issue — big time. "

Opinions - Independent Record-Death tax' is PR at its peak

Opinions - Independent Record: "Death tax' is PR at its peak

By Sen. KEN TOOLE - 08/04/05

Over the last several weeks Montanans have been deluged with a TV ad campaign featuring veterans urging us to get rid of the 'death tax.' The ads play to our sense of patriotism telling us that the 'death tax' is un-American. Here is yet another tax cut designed to benefit the super-rich that is being wrapped in the flag and stuffed down our throats.

Let's be clear — no one pays a tax after they are dead. No one pays a tax for dying. The 'death tax' is the new term for the inheritance tax, often called the estate tax. To the extent anyone pays this tax, it is the heirs of the wealthy and privileged in our country. This year, estates valued at less than $1.5 million for an individual heir and $3 million for a couple are exempt from the estate tax. Not a lot of poor working stiffs are leaving that kind of money to their children."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Oddly titled Merc lawsuit seeks to free money for charity

Oddly titled Merc lawsuit seeks to free money for charity: "t first glance, the title of the lawsuit is startling. The officers of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange appear to be suing the exchange and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

A closer look reveals that the parties aren't battling at all. But there's a big issue involved -- what will happen to more than $57 million that could be donated to charities"

Monday, August 01, 2005

AP Wire | 07/29/2005 |(Wisconsin) Governor asks FCC to extend no-call comment deadline

AP Wire | 07/29/2005 | Governor asks FCC to extend no-call comment deadline: "Governor asks FCC to extend no-call comment deadline


Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Jim Doyle asked federal officials Friday to extend the deadline for Wisconsinites to submit comments on a petition he says would devastate the state's telemarketer no-call list.

Doyle made the request after a Web site set up by the Federal Communications Commission to receive comments crashed for about three hours early Friday." – Death and Taxes: Inevitable But Not Always Permanent - Dwyer – Death and Taxes: Inevitable But Not Always Permanent - Dwyer: "Death and Taxes: Inevitable But Not Always Permanent

Joshua Dwyer

Death and taxes seem to have a lot in common. Benjamin Franklin said they were the only certain things in this life and except for a few notable examples in history, both are usually permanent.

In a welcomed change from its usual practice of creating new taxes, Congress is currently considering repealing two. If Congress can agree to permanently abolish both the telephone excise tax and the estate tax without compromise, citizens should applaud its efforts and encourage their representatives to turn it a habit.

Regulation of donations

Regulation of donations: "Regulation of donations
China Daily Updated: 2005-08-01 05:30

Legislation covering charity funds allocation is badly needed to encourage a culture of donating, says an article in Jiangnan Times. An excerpt follows:

There was an embarrassing controversy surrounding charitable giving in Taizhou in East China's Zhejiang Province, not long ago." - IRS's Tougher Stance Faces Resistance - IRS's Tougher Stance Faces Resistance:
snip snip>>
"One focus of Mr. Everson's enforcement efforts has been tax-exempt organizations. He has increased the number of personnel overseeing tax-exempt and charity organizations, and plans to assign more if he gets sufficient funding. The IRS is scrutinizing half the tax-exempt credit-counseling industry, as measured by asset size, he says.

The examination of tax-exempt organizations stems from the sector's huge growth, Mr. Everson says. There are 1.8 million nonprofits with $3 trillion in assets, up from 500,000 such groups in 1995. The IRS, he says, is seeing an increase in questionable behavior, including partnerships with for-profit businesses that muddy such issues as financial relationships and governance. Abuses include individuals taking large tax deductions for donating worthless automobiles to charities or 'donating' large sums of money to organizations and then getting 'loans' in return." - Buggs: Worries over estate tax? Dream on - Buggs: Worries over estate tax? Dream on: "Worries over estate tax? Dream on
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

THE estate tax is back on the political radar screen.

Senate Republicans want to permanently repeal the law that allows the U.S. Treasury to tax the net assets of deceased wealthy citizens.

Prominently supporting the effort are small-business owners, farmers and automobile dealers who are again sharing their stories about how federal taxes on inheritances ate up family fortunes."

OpinionJournal - Featured Article- Estates of Pain

OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "Estates of Pain

August 1, 2005
Monday, August 1, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

Florida Governor Jeb Bush ought to send his counterpart in Connecticut, Republican Jodi Rell, a thank-you note with a box of chocolates and a ribbon tied around it. Last month Ms. Rell marked her first anniversary as Governor by signing into law a tax bill that might as well be called the 'Palm Beach Economic Development Act.'

The law requires that any resident of the Nutmeg State with an estate of more than $2 million pay a death tax of up to 16%--merely for the privilege of dying in Connecticut. The legislators in Hartford hope that the tax will raise $150 million in revenue each year--money that will come in only if the legislators in Hartford are also planning to build a Berlin Wall around the state."