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1/15/04 - Coalition News Service

Proposed Florida legislation threatens nonprofits

Florida nonprofit corporations have been made aware of a bill that has recently been filed in the legislature by Sen. Victor Crist (R Hillsborough).

Jamie Ross of 1000 Friends of Florida says that "some think (the bill) is politically motivated to ensure that every nonprofit that even thinks about trying to influence next year's election is audited and harassed -- even to the point of criminal prosecution"

The Summary of the Bill (SB 1478) found on the Florida Senate website reads as follows:
"Requires organizations that are exempt from taxation under s. 501(c)(3) or s. 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, including religious institutions, to file annual financial reports with the Department of Revenue. Requires the department to review such reports and to provide information to the state attorney if the department reasonably suspects that a leader of such an organization is acting in violation of the entity's tax-exempt status or is otherwise committing fraud"
Click here to view information about the bill on the Florida Senate's website