The Mississippi legislature gives tax money to charity with no accountability for the use of that money. Individuals, not government, should decide what charity their money supports.
Charity and nonprofit groups receive tax-free donations or gratuities.
Article IV, Section 66 of the Mississippi Constitution says: "No law granting a donation or gratuity in favor of any person or object shall be enacted except by the concurrence of two-thirds of the members elect of each branch of the legislature, nor by any vote for a sectarian purpose or use."
Approximately 1.5 million charities operate in the United States. Charities perform a wide array of activities. Charities don't have to notify the government about its membership, activities or outreach. No law in the United States prohibits foreign-funding of charities. Foreign-funding for charity can come from governmental and non-governmental sources.
Tax money given to charity ends accountability for how that money was spent. The money can be shuffled to a different charity.
Some charities seem to be political organizations in disguise. One look at the charities that received donations from left-wing political advocate, George Soros, makes one wonder if any nonprofit can be trusted, including the YWCA.
The United Way was ranked second of the five worst charities for 2011. Mississippi donated tax money to them:
2012 HB 1525 $375,000.00
2009 HB 366 $300,000
2008 HB 1548 $5,000
In 2010, Mississippi utility services donated more than $3.1 million of customers' utility fees to charity. By law, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia, do not allow this practice. It was argued that the utility is a monopoly and customer fees should not be used for charitable donations. In 2011, the Mississippi Public Service Commission unanimously ruled that utilities can no longer use their customers’ money to donate to charity.
Mississippi city and county officials also donate tax money to charity.
In an editorial published at Mississippi PEP, Rebekah Staples wrote: "The argument isn’t whether [charities] deserve financial support. I know many of these groups provide meaningful services in our communities. But individuals, not governments, should be the sole decision-makers when it comes to donating money...".
On December, 2002 The Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review issued the following recommendation for membership dues to nonprofit organizations. Shouldn't donations to nonprofits have at least this much accountability?
The Legislature should enact disclosure and accountability requirements for nonprofit associations receiving public funds so that the public has full access to information on how funds received from public sources are being spent. Specifically, the Legislature should require that nonprofit associations maintain accounting records that segregate the receipt of public funds and accurately reflect the expenditure of all funds received from public sources, reporting every expenditure by major object. Also, the Legislature should mandate that when private nonprofit associations report lobbying expenditures as required by MISS. CODE ANN. Section 5-8-9 (1972), they should clearly identify those expenditures made with funds received from public sources.
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