No clear, easy answer on 'nonprofit' raffles

info@islandpacket.comMay 23, 2013 

The headline for the May 16 editorial "Misunderstandings on raffles can be fixed" voices optimism.

Well into this editorial appear the words from recently enacted Act 011: "Nonprofit organizations must be recognized by the S.C. Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service."

A problem with this fix for our raffle problem is apparent in a story on the same front page. The lead headline shouts, "An 'angry' Obama fires acting IRS chief." Why is this occurring? Because the IRS tried to follow well-intended congressional directives in deciding who qualifies for the tax designation of a 501(c)(4) organization.

According to Act 011, the IRS and our state Department of Revenue will be required to determine that the primary purpose of an organization wishing to conduct a raffle is charitable (i.e. not political). Would politically linked organizations, such as a Republican club, a Democratic club or a tea party group, be appropriately designated charitable?

Could the Greater Bluffton Republican Club qualify for conducting a raffle of an AR-15 rifle? Changing the constitution to enacting the law in 2015 would enable South Carolina to jump into the same pot that now disturbs our national politics.

David Rice


The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service