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United Way opposes SB24

Alabama Senate Bill 24 (SB24) awaits Gov. Robert Bentley's signature or veto. United Way of Madison County opposes the bill because of ramifications to non-profit organizations across the state. (CONTRIBUTED)
Alabama Senate Bill 24 (SB24) awaits Gov. Robert Bentley’s signature or veto. United Way of Madison County opposes the bill because of ramifications to non-profit organizations across the state. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON COUNTY – United Way of Madison County opposes Alabama Senate Bill 24 (SB24) because of its potential to cut programs for the poor.

Lawmakers passed this bill on Aug. 11 during the Alabama Legislative Special Session. The bill threatens tax-exempt status of hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout Alabama including United Way, according to Clay Vandiver, United Way of Madison County President and CEO.

The bill now awaits Gov. Robert Bentley’s signature or veto. The bill “has many unintended consequences. We ask that Gov. Bentley not sign the bill until a thorough understanding of the negative ramifications on non-profits in Alabama is gained and those ramifications given deep consideration,” Vandiver said.

The bill’s intention is to confirm that non-profits are not abusing their tax-exempt status. However, SB24 will require United Way of Madison County, its partner agencies and all other non-profit organizations to file a tax-exempt certification report annually with the Department of Revenue.

As a result, non-profits must track hundreds of tax-exempt transactions in detail. The Department of Revenue also can require these organizations to produce many other reports, Vandiver said.

These requirements will cause financial burden for non-profits, forcing them to develop new accounting systems, purchase software to manage the reporting and possibly hire new personnel. “That money should be used to continue funding programs for our agencies and their clients,” Vandiver said.

Many non-profits that the bill impacts are long-standing United Way agencies, including The Salvation Army, American Red Cross and The Arc of Madison County.

“United Way of Madison County supports efforts to bring accountability to the state’s non-profits. We have already adopted a national ‘Standards of Excellence’ that raised our performance standards and the standards of our partner agencies,” Vandiver said.

Since 1943, United Way of Madison County has invested almost $100 million throughout the community and applied a focus on education, income and health.

For more information, call Vandiver at 256-536-0745 or email to clay.vandiver@uwhsv.org.

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