Opinion: Republican Tax Plan Creates More Need While Limiting Non-Profit Support
Our elected officials in Congress are close to finalizing sweeping tax legislation that would hurt, not help, those most in need, and those charged with caring for them. The tax vote cast by Ohio’s Congressional Delegation members will have a significant, long-ranging impact on all who call central Ohio home.
The Human Service Chamber of Franklin County, representing nearly 60 nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable populations across our community, strongly opposes the tax legislation pending in Washington. We oppose this legislation because of the harmful effects it will have on the people our member organizations serve—and on the organizations themselves.
The organizations we represent, from the smallest to the largest, from those serving generations of Americans to those serving New Americans, all have this in common: they exist to provide hope and to turn that hope into reality. Our organizations help their struggling neighbors land softly in difficult times. They exist to help people rise to their feet and move forward once again. It is work our agencies are honored to do, whether in housing, in healthcare, in education, in child care, in senior care, in alleviating food insecurity, in workforce development, in reentry services, or in refugee and immigration services.
It is challenging work to meet the needs of our community, in scope and breadth. This legislation would make providing services decidedly more difficult while making those services all the more urgent. This bill would restrict healthcare access for up to 13 million people, would increase the cost of higher education for students, would restrict state and local governments from responding to the ever-increasing needs of residents, and would place a greater obligation on nonprofits to fill in the gaps while discouraging charitable giving from 95 percent of taxpayers, whose lost billions in donations would be even more essential should this bill become law.
The bill’s rollback of the Johnson Amendment would also put significant pressure on the nonpartisan organizations we represent, making the pursuit of government dollars to fund the essential services they provide fraught with partisanship, sure to create havoc across social service agencies.
This legislation’s harmful reach uniquely extends beyond the four corners of the bill itself because of automatic and historic spending cuts that it would trigger, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Because the tax plan would balloon the federal deficit, it would require cuts to dozens of critical programs essential to the people our organizations serve, and to the organizations themselves. Every year for the next ten years, $150 billion would have to be cut from domestic programs, including $25 billion to Medicare, $1.7 billion for social services block grants, cuts to student loans, to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and more.
Providing for our struggling neighbors is not a partisan issue. HSC is prepared to support tax legislation that promotes equality and growth, stability and efficiency. This pending legislation fails to do so. We urge bipartisan efforts to enact tax legislation that better meets the needs of all Americans, and of the nonprofit community eager to serve those most in need. We call on the Ohio Congressional Delegation to vote on the side of all Ohioans.