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Five Reasons the Fraternal Tax Exemption Should Be Repealed

Now that I’ve got your attention, I need your help.  I will be in Washington, D.C., next week for a series of meetings with public policymakers, congressional staffers, think-tank representatives, and insurance industry leaders.  No doubt the value and validity of the fraternal tax exemption will come up in those conversations – probably more than once. 

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Time to Walk Our Talk… Especially this Summer

We all know what tremendous contributions fraternals make to individuals and organizations in communities across the country every day.  We improve our society by building homes, feeding the hungry, supporting the military, offering scholarships, helping the less fortunate.  And the impact of our efforts goes well beyond the people and charities we support directly.  By organizing and implementing a variety of seemingly small fraternal initiatives, our combined efforts result in a healthier social fabric for all those in a community.  In this way, the value of the good works of one lodge or society is multiplied.  And the more good works we do, the greater the value – and growth – of our fraternal system.

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Joe’s Special – 5 Things You Probably Missed But Shouldn’t Have…

  1. Prospects for serious debate of tax reform in Congress are slim… Acting House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) recently said, "Clearly, tax reform is an issue for next year, not this year. I've heard almost no one in our ranks talk about it." That gives us a little time to build a more effective network of grassroots contacts and spread the good word about fraternals to folks on Capitol Hill (and, more importantly, in their districts back home). This is no time to rest easy. In addition to tax reform being a likely menu item for Congress in 2010, NFCA has compiled a “watch list” of 20 – count ‘em, 20!!! – states in which a detailed review of existing tax exemptions could put fraternals in the center of the target for tax reform legislation in 2011. Want to know how you can help? Contact Elizabeth Snyder, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, at esnyder@nfcanet.org.
  2. Special Section of USA Today highlights “Sharing in the USA”… Did you see this on April 13? An entire section in USA Today devoted to articles on service and sharing. No doubt you’ll pick up some great ideas for use in your society by reading them. Can you imagine a special section on fraternals some day? I can…
  3. Learning from Lutherans… And check out this article from a recent issue of Forbes magazine. What can marketers learn from your organization? You don’t have to be the largest fraternal to be a successful one, but it sure helps to be able to learn from a society whose commitment to fraternalism is its “differentiator” in the marketplace.
  4. Young adults, men, and top earners top users of social media for insurance… Brief but compelling article
  5. Who volunteers?… Check out this series of articles from Association Metrics – including a case study on "Who Volunteers?" and see how your society stacks up and how you can improve your members’ community service commitment…

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Let’s try this again…

I first posted the following item on Thursday, April 1.  And frankly, I thought I’d get at least a few responses.  I’ll chalk it up to the fact that I didn’t count on people being out of the office for Easter break.  But now that we’re all back to work, let’s try this again…

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When you’re playing a solo, your instrument better be in tune…

You may not know this, but right now NFCA is working to defeat five separate bills in two states that would modify or outright repeal the fraternal tax exemption.  Three bills are under consideration by the Hawaii legislature and two bills are in the hopper in Washington state.  NFCA has retained lobbyists in each state to be our eyes and ears in the state capitals.  Hiring these resources is critical to winning these battles and, at least in my opinion, is one of the best expenditures of your dues dollars.  Every member has a stake in these battles and every member – large and small – benefits from NFCA’s lobbying activities.

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Bits of tid…

Section meetings are coming up and you need to be there…

Section Mid-Year Meeting season kicks off in March with the Fraternal & Communications Sections meeting in Charlotte, NC.  The Secretaries & Human Resources Sections and the Presidents Section follow right behind with April sessions in Hollywood, FL.  Later that month, the Investment Section meets in San Antonio, TX.  The Actuaries Section wraps up the schedule with a June meeting in Milwaukee.  Programs are set for many of these meetings and online registration is also available on the NFCA Web site.

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Joe’s Special…

A mish-mosh of information, intelligence, and innuendo…

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