Legislative Round-Up | December 2021
Included in this Round-Up
- The US Postal Service (USPS)
- Universal Charitable Deduction
- IRA Charitable Rollovers
- National Privacy Legislation
- Legislation Regulating Donor Advised Funds (DAFs)
- From the States
The Postal Front: Now All About Capitol Hill
On November 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) ruled against the suit filed by a coalition of mailers’ associations. The Court upheld the Postal Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant the Postal Service the ability to raise postage rates higher than the rate of inflation (CPI).
With that disappointing decision, now it’s all about Capitol Hill. Postal reform legislation, which was reported out of the House postal committee earlier this year, has several positive provisions, including moving the large retiree healthcare cost off the Postal Service and putting it in Medicare where most retiree healthcare costs reside. HOWEVER, the legislation does NOT have any language limiting future postal rate increases.
The House postal reform bill could come to the House Floor before year-end, but more likely early next year and we anticipate no changes to the bill as it moves through the House. The real battle will come later when the Senate takes up the bill and it appears the Senate may be willing to add language to limit future postal rate increases. To that end, TNPA has been working with a number of Senators key to the postal process who may be willing to put language in the bill limiting future postal rate increases, including:
- Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) – the chair of the postal committee
- Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) – the top Republican on the postal committee
- Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) – who co-authored the 2006 Postal Reform Act (the last major postal legislation Congress has enacted)
- Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) – who co-authored with Senator Collins the 2006 Postal Reform Act
Universal Charitable Deduction Extension
The current Universal Charitable Deduction for tax year 2021 is $300 for individual taxpayers and $600 for married couples filing jointly. The deduction will expire on December 31, 2021, but we anticipate that early next year Congress will enact legislation extending a variety of tax measures – including the Universal Charitable Deduction. The Tax Extenders Bill will likely be taken up in the first quarter of 2022 and will be retroactive to January 1, 2022, so that all charitable contributions made in 2022 would be eligible.
On this issue we have some real champions for our cause — specifically, Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE). A top priority for TNPA is to increase the deduction cap for future years, which the two Senators along with the bipartisan group of 12 other Senators cosponsoring their legislation are committed to doing. Additionally in the House, Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Jackie Walorksi (R-IN) have been the leaders on the Universal Charitable issue and have introduced legislation identical to the Senate bill, which a bipartisan group of 15 other representatives has cosponsored.
IRA Charitable Rollover Expansion
Here it’s largely good news. Earlier this year the House Ways & Means Committee reported out of committee legislation raising the current $100,000 cap on IRA Charitable Rollovers by indexing the cap to the rate of inflation (CPI). The House is expected to take up this legislation in the first quarter of 2022 as part of its Package of Retirement Provisions and the Senate is expected to take up similar legislation later next year.
In October, TNPA CEO Shannon McCracken participated in a Zoom call with four other nonprofit C-Suite executives with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) calling for expansion of the IRA Charitable Rollover.
National Privacy Legislation
The multi-trillion dollar aid packages, particularly the current $1.75 trillion Build Back Better package, have largely crowded out the attention of the Senate Commerce Committee to seriously consider national privacy legislation. Similarly, the Democratically-controlled House has taken no action on the national privacy front. If conventional wisdom holds and after next November’s election the House flips to the Republicans, then in the new Congress the House is expected to take up national privacy legislation.
TNPA has worked closely with Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who under a Republican-controlled House would chair the committee of jurisdiction for privacy legislation, Energy & Commerce. The Congresswoman shares TNPA’s view on the need for a robust national privacy statute, which would protect us from a patchwork quilt of varying state privacy laws.
Legislation Regulating Donor Advised Funds (DAFs)
In June, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Angus King (Independent-ME) introduced the Accelerated Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act. The legislation, S. 1981, proposes several new restrictions on donor advised funds (DAFs) and private foundations. To date, there has been no action on this legislation in the Senate and it does not appear the committee of jurisdiction, the Senate Finance Committee, will take any action on this measure in 2022.
Key provisions of the legislation include (1) a requirement that contributions made into a DAF in turn be contributed to a charity or charities within 15 years of receipt by the DAF and (2) restrictions on the deductibility of non-publicly traded assets contributed to a DAF.
TNPA has yet to take a position on S. 1981, but continues to monitor the legislation.
From the States
We continue to follow legislation in many states. For more details and additional state bills that could impact the work of the nonprofit sector, as well as links to the actual bills, visit our States Policy page.