Tucson Medical Center Funding “Yes on Pima County Bonds”

“Paid for by Yes on Pima County Bonds. Major funding provided by Tucson Medical Center, Campus Research Corporation, and Diamond Ventures, Inc.”

That’s the new tag on every page of the Yes on Pima Bonds website.  The Avra Valley Coalition earlier sent you information on the connections between Diamond Ventures and other big business interests who support the Pima Bonds to be voted on November 3.

Now Tucson Medical Center and University of Arizona’s Campus Research Corporation have also become “major” funders of the Yes campaign.  Both organizations may be jeopardizing their 501(c)(3) non-profit status by engaging in this lobbying activity.

IRS rules say:    “An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

“Under the substantial part test, an organization that conducts excessive lobbying in any taxable year may lose its tax-exempt status, resulting in all of its income being subject to tax. In addition, section 501(c)(3) organizations that lose their tax-exempt status due to excessive lobbying, other than churches and private foundations, are subject to an excise tax equal to five percent of their lobbying expenditures for the year in which they cease to qualify for exemption.

“Further, a tax equal to five percent of the lobbying expenditures for the year may be imposed against organization managers, jointly and severally, who agree to the making of such expenditures knowing that the expenditures would likely result in the loss of tax-exempt status.”

As 501(c)(3) non-profits, and not private foundations, both organizations are exempt from paying taxes despite high income and executive salaries some might call lavish.  TMC and CRC are using tax-exempt dollars for their Yes campaign.  The public services they are not paying for are paid by hard-working taxpayers.  In effect, taxpayers are subsidizing the campaign against their own best interests, and without their knowledge or consent.

It’s more cynical manipulation and lousy politics by people who should know better.  Vote No on Pima Bonds.

Albert Lannon

Avra Valley Coalition

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