Building an Inclusive Economy
Author: Mary Thomas
Our economic landscape today looks very different than it did 25 years ago. This pattern of change will inevitably continue as technological advancements are rapidly introduced to the world.
To adapt to this new landscape, foundations must be willing to shift and evolve with the changing communities we serve. Seventy-five years ago, our founder— Walter Scott Montgomery—had a vision of introducing community philanthropy to Spartanburg County to meet the needs of the entire area. His vision began with a $10,000 investment that has evolved into a $213 million philanthropic organization that is continuously working to improve the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging local engagement, and responding to community needs.
A great thought leader in our community, Roger Milliken, lived by this motto, “Innovate or die.” Community institutions would do well to live by those words to ensure that our organizations continue to think ahead and maximize community impact by deploying innovative solutions to the issues facing our region. The success that the Spartanburg County Foundation has seen over the years is partly because of its ability to look ahead, remain flexible, and change when necessary to address local issues.
Reading Between the Lines: Transportation Benefits After Tax Reform
Author: Sandra Swirski & Sara Barba
Following the passage of the 2017 tax reform bill, nonprofits are re-evaluating how they determine their unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) tax, specifically in regard to transportation benefits. This week, we’ll dive into what the new transportation benefits provision could mean for your organization and your grantees, as well as what’s being done in Washington to help provide guidance.
Transportation Benefits Are Now Taxable
The 2017 tax reform bill made substantial changes to how transportation benefits are treated. Congress wanted all parking and transportation costs to be paid with after-tax dollars, which was fairly easy to apply to for-profit companies and their employees. For nonprofits, however, Congress thought that by simply applying UBIT of 21 percent on any employer-provided transportation benefit would effectively push employers to stop offering the benefit, and employees would just pay for transportation with after tax dollars.
Likely unforeseen was that this UBIT assessment will have a significant impact on charitable organizations’ bottom lines. This will increase the UBIT owed by many organizations and will lead many nonprofits to pay UBIT for the first time.