Today, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced legislation to jump-start economic development in rural and urban areas. The Philanthropic Facilitation Act would make it easier for foundations and other philanthropic organizations to contribute financially to job creators across the country. The bill works by streamlining the approval process that determines eligible recipients of charitable investments.
Under current law, foundations must make charitable expenditures each year in order to keep their tax status. Gardner's legislation would expedite the current process for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rulings on whether or not an investment to a low-profit entity would count towards their yearly expenditures. It streamlines the process by directing IRS to respond within a certain timeframe, and all foundations wanting to make an investment in the same entity would be able to rely on the IRS determination.
"Many of our rural areas continue to face declining populations because of dwindling job prospects. This bill will help encourage investment in rural communities by cutting government red tape and providing new opportunities for businesses," said Gardner. "Private organizations are ready and able to invest in critical employers in rural areas, but are too often held-up by government approvals. This bill will unleash investment by removing redundant and harmful government roadblocks."
The bill has received bipartisan support, with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) cosponsoring the legislation.
"I am proud to partner with Representative Gardner on the Philanthropic Facilitation Act, which will encourage and increase investment in education and renewable energy without any cost to the taxpayers," said Polis. "Simplifying partnerships between nonprofit foundations and for-profit investors, the Philanthropic Facilitation Act will stimulate economic growth and support socially responsible businesses that are committed to charitable work."