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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, Eagle...

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Denfeld’s 1947 boys basketball team is the only Denfeld basketball team to win a state title. The team’s head coach was Lloyd Holm. Team members were Rudy Monson, Larry Tessier, Paul Nace, Kenneth Sunnarborg, Eugene Norlander, Howard Tucker, Tony Skull, Jerry Walczak, Bruce Budge, Keith Stolen and student manager Bob Scott.

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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