Does Sen Ranzenhofer have a plan to make up to the city town and counties who lose property tax revenue to non profits ..Non-profit do server a community ,but at the same time if they take up to much of your tax base in you town or city ,you create a system of higher tax rates..Non profit growth needs to be controlled .Maybe at 10% of a town or cities property can be dedicated to this....
Ranzenhofer's bill to reform laws for nonprofits passes Senate
Submitted by Howard Owens on June 22, 2013 - 7:03am
The New York State Senate yesterday passed the Nonprofit Revitalization Act (S5845), sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), that would – for the first time in 40 years – overhaul state laws that govern charities and other not-for-profit organizations.
“The state laws that apply to not-for-profits were enacted in 1969 and, since that time, there has been no comprehensive review and update --until now,” Senator Ranzenhofer said. “Millions of New Yorkers depend on not-for-profits to respond in times of emergency, provide health care, and offer vital community assistance, among many other services.
In listening to the concerns of these organizations and officials across the state, we have developed comprehensive legislation that will help the not-for-profit sector continue to fulfill its essential mission in a streamlined and cost-effective way, while also reducing the opportunities for fraud and financial abuse.”
More after the jump. Click on the headline to read more:
Not-for-profit organizations play a critical role in New York’s economy and account for one in every seven jobs in the state. There are more than 103,000 nonprofits in New York that employ 1.25 million people and generate billions of dollars in annual revenue.
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Senator Ranzenhofer helped develop the Nonprofit Revitalization Act after extensive meetings with stakeholders and the convening of multiple public hearings to examine comprehensive amendments to the state’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. The Law covers a diverse array of entities, including membership corporations, cemetery corporations, fire corporations, religious societies, medical societies, alumni corporations, historical societies, agricultural societies, trade organizations, as well as charitable organizations, hospitals and not-for-profit nursing homes. Many of these entities are also regulated by other state departments, including the Department of Health, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Education Department.
“Piecemeal changes over the years have created an antiquated and intrusive regulatory environment that has even caused some nonprofits to leave New York and incorporate in other states,” Senator Ranzenhofer said. “In addition, the heightened scrutiny due to a few publicized acts of fraud and financial abuse, the slow economic recovery, and recent weather-related disasters have presented unprecedented challenges for nonprofits. The time is right to cut red tape, ensure greater accountability, and make New York a truly business-friendly environment for these important organizations.”
The Nonprofit Revitalization Act reduces unnecessary, outdated, and costly burdens to help not-for-profit organizations focus resources on providing services. It will improve oversight of operations which will have the dual role of providing organizations with better financial management and increasing the public trust that donations and taxpayer funds are being put to proper use. Key provisions of the Act include:
• Reducing bureaucracy and costly requirements by amending rules governing not-for-profit property sales, mergers, corporate formations, and dissolutions to create a more welcoming environment for new not-for-profits and a more business-friendly environment for existing ones. It will also increase efficiency by modernizing board procedures, such as enabling not-for-profits to use e-mail and video technology for meetings, and allow boards to delegate the approval of small transactions to committees.
• Strengthening accountability and enhancing charitable governance by setting forth clearer expectations of board duties in key areas, such as providing better financial management and oversight over financial audits. It includes new provisions to limit and, when necessary, remedy self-dealing to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure transactions are performed in the organization’s best interest. Employees of a nonprofit will also be prohibited from serving as chair of the board to help promote clear lines of accountability between management and the board and ensure independent board leadership.
"New York’s nonprofit sector rivals any other in the nation, providing crucial services to families and institutions across the state,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “But for too long, it’s been hamstrung by red tape in some areas, while lacking oversight in others. Today’s vote, the first reform to our charities law in decades, will allow charities to do what they do best — powering our economy, supporting vulnerable citizens and our most treasured institutions, while helping prevent abuse. I am grateful to Senator Ranzenhofer, Assemblyman Brennan, Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver for their leadership in guiding this bill to passage.”
Assemblyman James F. Brennan (D, Brooklyn), said: “The reform of the state’s Not-For-Profit corporation law was much-needed and long-overdue. This legislation represents the right balance between ridding the current law of unnecessary and burdensome requirements, strengthening the governance structures of nonprofit corporations and enhancing oversight over them. I am confident that this new law will make it easier for nonprofits to incorporate in this state.”
Susan K. Hager, president and CEO of United Way of New York State, said: “United Way of New York State commends Senator Ranzenhofer for his thoughtful and bipartisan approach to getting this bill passed. He and his staff spent countless hours talking with many stakeholders and holding three hearings around the state -- the very model for what a policymaking process should be. The end result is a compromise, which is not surprising, however this bill is a very welcome reboot of the state's not-for-profit corporation law. The bill's provisions, including a commonsense reclassifying of charities, a stronger role for boards of directors in financial oversight, permitting the use of e-communications, and simplifying the merger and consolidations process, among others, represent significant reforms, which United Way strongly supports.”
David M. Schraver, New York State Bar Association president, said: “We commend Senator Ranzenhofer for recognizing that not-for-profit organizations play a vital role in our economy and the lives of all New Yorkers. This measure would make it more attractive to create nonprofits in New York rather than in other states. It would help nonprofits thrive -– by reducing government red tape while not compromising government oversight. The New York State Bar Association long has called for modernizing the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. We congratulate Senator Ranzenhofer on his leadership.”
Jennifer Leonard, president and CEO at Rochester Area Community Foundation, said: “Daily, every New Yorker benefits from the hard work of countless nonprofit organizations. The Nonprofit Revitalization Act, developed by an innovative partnership of nonprofits and state government, modernizes outdated state laws to simplify operation and strengthen governance of our caring, creative, faith-based and educational institutions. We all stand to benefit from its passage.”
Michael Stoller, executive director of The Human Services Council, said: “The Human Services Council, representing the nonprofit human services sector in New York, is a longtime advocate of reform in the way New York State monitors and does business with the sector. We deeply appreciate the work of Attorney General Schneiderman, Senator Ranzenhofer, and their staffs in generating the political will to take this important step toward a more rational and efficient framework for governing nonprofits. We look forward to working with them, as well as with the Governor and the Comptroller, on further improvements.”
Peter J. Kiernan, chair of the New York State Law Revision Commission, said: “I salute Senator Ranzenhofer for his leadership in pursuing meaningful reform to the state’s Not-For-Profit Corporations Law. The Legislature’s passage of amendments to the outmoded statute represents progress for the over 100,000 not-for-profit corporations in New York. The Commission was pleased to participate in the process that led to the legislation and hopes the dialogue about reform will continue.”
The bill has passed the Assembly.
...As much as IDA give-aways do?
The concept of non-profits are great - we love volunteerism and we love charity work. What we don't love are corporations masquerading as charities and cronyism that gives jobs, sometimes high salaried jobs, to friends and relatives under the guise of something called a charity. More accountability is a good thing. Easily accessible information on every charity's finances for the public to consume so potential donors can decide whether or not to support the cash flow is a reasonable expectation in today's electronic web-oriented world. Provide real data (educate us if you will) and let us choose where to donate our hard earned money.
Now, just because something is a charity does not mean it should get a free ride on all fronts. If the charity has a building it gets police and fire protection, access to infrastructure and services, etc... the same as any other business or citizen gets. It should not get any of it for free or even discounted - those costs are the costs of doing business and should be levied equally just the same as done to everyone else in the community. So their costs rise, big deal - pay your executives less. Find more cost-effective ways to deliver your charity. When you have to absorb some of the cost, the cost for the rest of the community goes down and the citizens then have more opportunity to spend, donate, and possibly even time to volunteer. The tax schemes are just the same as the government confiscate and giveaway tax schemes - someone else is deciding how to spend your hard earned dollars. It is and always has been unfair, biased, and subject to corruption.
Stop the giveaways, educate the public, and let people take care of charity in an equitable and heartfelt fashion.
Putting an arbitrary number on the percent of property tax abatement allowed to any entity is not the answer. Eliminating loopholes, fairly charging everyone for services rendered, and eliminating all property taxes (and the public assessment system that goes with it) is the path to a more fiscally responsible system.