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Capitol Briefs: Senate committee considers tax exemption protections

The Senate Small Business and Industry Committee convened Tuesday morning to hear testimony on SB 333, which would restrict further filing requirements for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. 

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Eric Burlison, would restrict the state from imposing annual filing or reporting requirements considered to be more restrictive than those already required by the Attorney General’s Office

An exception would be made under the bill for reports required under federal law. 

  • “This bill is meant to protect the tax exemption of those institutions, those nonprofits,” Burlison said before the committee. “There’s philosophical and religious targeting that’s being done against our personal rights — some people don’t realize the First Amendment isn’t just about your speech.” 
  • Sen. Doug Beck questioned the bill, voicing concerns about possible abuse of the system. 
  • Lobbyist Brian Grace testified in favor of the bill on behalf of the nonprofit Philanthropy Roundtable, calling the legislation a “preemptive strike” to prevent additional red tape from future consideration. No witnesses testified in opposition.
  • The committee did not go into executive session on the bill.