Publications & Products
May 2017
Volume 15 Issue 5

U.S. Federal Relations News May 2017

President Trump’s Tax Plan Has Implications for Giving

Honor Service in State Relations

Florida Lawmakers Approve New Restrictions, Disclosure Requirements on Institutionally Related Foundations


President Trump’s Tax Plan Has Implications for Giving

A tax reform plan announced by U.S. President Donald Trump would likely lead to a decline in giving to educational institutions and other charitable organizations.

While the Trump administration's plan, released on April 26, makes it clear that the charitable deduction would be protected, significant cuts in individual tax rates coupled with a doubling of the standard deduction threshold would reduce the value of the charitable deduction for most American taxpayers. Brian Flahaven, CASE's senior director for advocacy, provided a deeper explanation of how the president's tax plan would affect giving in a recent blog post. 

Additionally, the president's tax plan would fully repeal the federal estate tax, eliminating the tax incentive donor's receive for giving bequests to educational institutions.

At this point, the president's tax reform plan is a broad outline with many details yet to be determined, Flahaven noted. Lawmakers will consider the president's plan as they craft tax reform legislation in the coming weeks and months.

To stay updated on tax reform and other legislative developments affecting educational advancement, join the CASE Advocacy Network, CASE's new online community dedicated to advocacy issues.


Honor Service in State Relations

Nominate higher education government relations professionals who have advanced their institutions or systems through exceptional advocacy and outreach efforts to governors, state legislators and other external stakeholders for a 2017 Service Award in State Government Relations.

The award program opens for nominations on May 22, and closes Friday, July 28, 2017.

The Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Achievement Award honors those who have demonstrated significant career accomplishment through their contributions in institutional/system state relations. The Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation recognizes the efforts of state relations officers who have been in the profession for less than 10 years.

Nominators must submit a short entry form and a curriculum vitae for their nominee. If the nominee is selected as a finalist, further materials will be requested. Please use the online entry system to submit a nomination. Forms, award criteria and additional information are available online.

Award winners will be recognized in the presence of their professional peers at the 2017 Higher Education Government Relations Conference.


Florida Lawmakers Approve New Restrictions, Disclosure Requirements on Institutionally Related Foundations

As part of their final budget negotiations, U.S. Florida state lawmakers approved legislation that will prohibit the state's public colleges and universities from using state funds to pay for the salaries of institutionally related foundation employees beginning in 2022.

IRFs (also known as direct support organizations, or DSOs, in Florida) are separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations affiliated with public colleges and universities dedicated to raising and managing private support on behalf of their institution. The use of state funds for IRF travel would be prohibited and IRF disclosure of all expenditures involving public funds and all travel expenditures involving private funds would also be required under the legislation.

The bill, pending signature from Florida Governor Rick Scott, is the result of a recent examination of the spending practices of IRFs by the Florida House Appropriations Committee. In a recent blog post, Brian Flahaven, CASE's senior director of advocacy, debunked the myths driving the Florida bill and urged Florida lawmakers to reconsider the salary prohibition.