“States Pass Washington in Policing Political Nonprofits”

Important Tax Notes story behind paywall:

Advocates of campaign finance reform finally see some slivers of light in their battle against “dark money,” the contributions from undisclosed donors that fuel politically oriented section 501(c)(4) organizations.

But the light comes not from Washington but from selected states that have put nonprofits on notice: If they spend more than a minimal amount trying to influence state elections, they will be treated as political committees, requiring disclosure of their donors, regardless of their tax-exempt status with the IRS.

Over the last two years, such policies have been put in place through laws or regulations in California, Utah, Montana, New York, and Maryland. In November 2014, Tallahassee, Florida, became one of the first cities to adopt an anti-dark money law. And the group Represent.Us, made up of grassroots activists and academics, is lobbying for similar statutes in other cities around the country.


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