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Reader's View: Taxes keeping charities from being charitable

The Minnesota Gambling Control Board just released fiscal year 2018 charitable gaming profits numbers for nonprofits, averaging $157 million, mainly from the sales of pull tabs. The report also showed our community nonprofits like the Elks, Eagles, Lions, VFWs, trails associations, and youth sports paid $75 million in state income tax on these sales, plus another $6 million in fees. That means the nonprofits paid more than $81 million in taxes, leaving them only $70 million for their missions. Their average tax rate of 51 percent was five times more than anyone else pays.

Duluth's Irving Community Association made a profit from gaming of $1.1 million but paid the state of Minnesota taxes and fees on it totaling $795,757. Similarly, the Alexandria Elks in fiscal year 2017 kept only $84,000 while paying the state of Minnesota $284,000, as another example.

How do we as citizens, pull tab players, and charities allow this outrageous taxation without demanding change by our governor and legislators? I believe charities in Minnesota should be taxed but at the same rate as corporations and wealthy Individuals in the state, which is 9.8 percent.

Alan Roebke

Alexandria, Minn.

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