Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oregon Lawmakers Vote To Crack Down On Inefficient Charities

M.O. Stevens
Wikimedia -

Oregon lawmakers want to crack down on charities that use very little of the money they raise to actually help people. 

The Oregon Senate Wednesday passed a bill that allows the Oregon Attorney General to yank the tax exempt status from any non-profit that spends more than 70 percent of its income on administrative costs such as fundraising.

Oregon Republican Senator Larry George says this is not like the federal controversy over the IRS targeting conservative groups. He says this measure would not single out any organization for its political leanings. "This is an objective standard. So the Attorney General must apply an objective standard that is drawn from the organization's own IRS forms."

It's unclear how many organizations would be penalized under the law. The Oregon Attorney General's office publishes an annual list of 20 non-profits that spend very little of their donations on services. The charities claim to help groups such as disabled veterans, sick children and firefighters but actually spend most of their money on fundraising.

The measure now heads to the governor's desk.

On the Web:

HB 2060: Regulation of charitable organizations - Oregon Legislature 
Oregon's 20 Worst Charities 2012 - Oregon Department of Justice