By Tsiporah Nephesh, Executive Director, New Mexico Thrives

Nonprofits are a crucial part of the fabric that strengthens our communities. Many provide vital services, while others add to the quality of life. But nonprofits will have a diminished role in New Mexico if Governor Martinez gets her way. She would like to end the tax exemption for nonprofits as part of a plan to close tax loopholes. But nonprofit tax exemptions are not loopholes.

Governor Martinez is talking about restructuring the tax system in such a way that it could have devastating impacts on how nonprofits operate. New Mexicans should be taking notice.

New Mexico Thrives, New Mexico’s state nonprofit association, followed the various tax reform bills in 2017 by attending committee meetings to listen to the debates. We’ve heard the various arguments for taxing nonprofits, but they are based on faulty assumptions and a misunderstanding about the complexity of the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits fill an entirely different role in society than does the for-profit business sector. This is why the two are taxed in different ways (and, yes, nonprofits do pay several taxes—payroll taxes and gross receipts taxes on contract services). Comparing the two for the sake of an argument over tax fairness is an exercise with a faulty premise.

Consider charities in New Mexico. All charities are nonprofits, but not all nonprofits are charities. A charity is defined as benefiting the general public – examples include food pantries, domestic violence shelters, animal rescue organizations, churches, and hospitals. While they each serve specific populations, their work has positive impacts on society as a whole. When nonprofits provide housing and services to the homeless population, we all benefit through savings in first responder and emergency room costs. Advocacy is another type of nonprofit work that benefits the general public. The advocacy work of animal rights groups many years ago provided a blueprint for our modern child abuse laws.

Nonprofit organizations that are not considered charities are created for mutual benefit. These organizations provide a service or benefit to members of a group, rather than to society in general. Examples include homeowner associations, clubs and professional associations.

Most of the time, nonprofits do the work that no one else will – the hard but important work that isn’t driven by a profit motive. Nonprofits do not have owners or shareholders and all money that is earned or donated is invested into the service of the organizational mission.

When Governor Martinez says that she wants to close all tax loopholes, she is including all nonprofits’ tax exemption from gross receipts taxes (GRT) on the purchase of goods. Forcing nonprofits that purchase goods to pay the GRT, (e.g., adaptive equipment for the disabled) would result in less money available to serve our communities. Many nonprofits serve economically disadvantaged people, so nonprofits will not pass the cost of the tax along to them like most businesses do. Taxing nonprofits would make it more difficult for them to do their work and ultimately that would make us all poorer.

Nonprofits employ 48,000 New Mexicans, or just over 8 percent of our workforce, according to Independent Sector. They serve many more thousands of people and help provide vital services to our communities. Why would we tax non-profits to make it more difficult for them and ultimately for ourselves?

New Mexico does need increased revenue, but taxing the very organizations that serve those in our state with the greatest need, works against our own best interests.

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.

Welcome to our new version of classified ads.  We invite you our readers to post your own classifieds, which are available for viewing 24/7 and are very reasonable in price. Right now you'll see a classified for mobile home lots for rent.

We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. It's a software problem, not easily fixable, other than showing fewer articles per summary page. If you are a frequent visitor, you might not mind fewer articles per page, but if you only come once in a while, you likely want to see more articles to browse. Write me at editor@grantcountybeat.com to let me know your feelings on this issue. 

Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include one about end of life options, Compassionate Care.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  


All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com