Could ACC’s HB2 move bring IRS problems for league?

download-3Federal tax filings indicate that the Atlantic Coast Conference has 501(3)(c) tax-exempt status. As we all know, the ACC’s Council of Presidents voted to pull all neutral-site conference competitions from the state of North Carolina while HB2 is still law.

For the record, the North Carolina-tied members of the council are:  Duke president Richard Brodhead, UNC chancellor Carol Folt, Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch, and NC State chancellor Randy Woodson.   Folt and Woodson are not publicly commenting on how they voted.  (These two state employees NEED to come clean on whether they supported this effort to sabotage and embarrass the state of North Carolina.)

Here is what the Internal Revenue Service says about political activities by 501(c)(3) organizations:

 […] Under federal tax law, section 501(c)(3) organizations may take positions on shakepublic policy issues, including issues that divide candidates in an election for public office. However, section 501(c)(3) organizations must avoid any issue advocacy that functions as political campaign intervention. Even if a statement does not expressly tell an audience to vote for or against a specific candidate, an organization delivering the statement is at risk of violating the political campaign intervention prohibition if there is any message favoring or opposing a candidate. A statement can identify a candidate not only by stating the candidate’s name but also by other means such as showing a picture of the candidate, referring to political party affiliations, or other distinctive features of a candidate’s platform or biography. All the facts and circumstances need to be considered to determine if the advocacy is political campaign intervention.
Key factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
• Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office;
Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval for one or more candidates’ positions and/or actions;
• Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election;
• Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election;
• Whether the issue addressed in the communication has been raised as an issue distinguishing candidates for a given office;
• Whether the communication is part of an ongoing series of communications by the organization on the same issue that are made independent of the timing of any election; and
• Whether the timing of the communication and identification of the candidate are related to a non-electoral event such as a scheduled vote on specific legislation by an officeholder who also happens to be a candidate for public office. […]

One could argue the ACC’s position expresses approval of the position of Roy Cooper AND the North Carolina Democrat Party.

kermitOne could argue that the statement is delivered close in time to the election.  (We are less than two months away from a big vote for governor, council of state, and General Assembly. HB2 was passed in March. Why raise a stink about it NOW?  The ACC vote is being cited by Democrat candidates in a number of key races as ammo against their Republican opponents.) 

One could also argue that the issue of HB2 has been raised as an issue distinguishing candidates for a given office. 

I guess it’s time to start making these folks PAY TAXES.  It’s a slap in the face to North Carolinians who get bled dry every April 15th to have these people — tax exempt and raking in all kinds of taxpayer-funded benefits — playing partisan politics and sabotaging the state. 

(Jus’ saying.’ )