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  • September 21, 2022 10:48 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    The Louisiana Department of Revenue recently put out a bulletin clarifying the Louisiana tax implications (individual income tax) of federal student loan forgiveness announcement.

    On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced a plan that, in part, provides up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the U.S. Department of Education and up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness to non-Pell Grant recipients. Taxpayers who have either a federal filing status of single and earn less than $125,000 or a federal filing status of married filing jointly and earn less than $250,000 are eligible for the federal student loan forgiveness.

    For individual taxpayers in Louisiana, the starting point for determining Louisiana’s tax table income is the taxpayer’s “adjusted gross income” (“AGI”), which is defined as the adjusted gross income of the individual for the taxable year that is reportable on the individual’s federal income tax return. Because Louisiana largely conforms to federal tax law for purposes of individual income tax, amounts that are exempt from federal tax, and therefore not includable in the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, will automatically be exempt from Louisiana tax without further action. As such, for taxpayers qualifying for federal student loan forgiveness pursuant to President Biden’s plan, any amounts so forgiven will likely be automatically excluded from a taxpayer’s AGI and exempt from Louisiana tax.

    *Source: Louisiana Department of Revenue

  • September 21, 2022 10:45 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    National Voter Registration Day was September 20; however, many parishes have voter registration throughout the week. Check out the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website for a list of 2022 voter registration week events. Also, click here for additional information on general voter registration information.

    This nationwide celebration of democracy is a great opportunity for nonprofits to ensure that their staff, volunteers, and community members are registered to vote. Nonprofits are uniquely positioned to help our communities register and exercise their right to vote. Nonprofits are not only places where people come together, but you we enjoy the trust of our communities and are already experts at remaining nonpartisan. This is more important than ever since many states have changed their rules about registration and procedures on how and where people can vote.

    Nonprofit guide to voter registration in Louisiana: https://bolderadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/BA-Louisiana-voter-reg-72121.pdf

  • September 08, 2022 9:32 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    The NBA Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for 2022 on a rolling basis.

    In order to be considered for a grant from the NBA Foundation, your organization must meet the following requirements:

    • Qualify as a registered 501(c)3 tax organization
    • Focus on promoting school-to-career employment opportunities that target Black youth ages 14-24 years old
    • Serve a minimum of 25 youth annually across your programs

    To learn more and apply, click HERE.

  • August 30, 2022 2:19 PM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    Advocacy is a powerful catalyst for change. It can improve the laws, policies, and systems that impact entire communities, and storytelling is a powerful tool for advocacy. Stories have the power to persuade and move people to action. Our brains are wired to remember stories more than facts alone and help make the case for why a policymaker should support nonprofits.

    To raise awareness, educate and remind policymakers, media and the public of the critical role nonprofits have played during and following Hurricane Katrina, the floods of 2016, Hurricanes Delta, Laura, Ida and, lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic, we need your stories!

    In no more than 500 words, please email your story about the pivotal role your nonprofit has played in each of the areas you operate and the impact(s) your organization has made as a result of your organization being in the community. If your story includes a lot of detail, remember that staying focused is key when educating a broader audience. Also, please avoid including lots of acronyms.

    What are we going to do with your stories? We will craft pitches to media and share them with policymakers, so make sure you are sharing a story that you would be prepared to publicly talk about.

    Please email your stories (and any questions) to Shelly Dupre at shelly@impactmanagement.com no later than Friday, September 30th.

  • August 30, 2022 2:16 PM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    National Voter Registration Day (September 20) is less than a month away. This nationwide celebration of democracy is a great opportunity for nonprofits to ensure that their staff, volunteers, and community members are registered to vote. Nonprofits are uniquely positioned to help our communities register and exercise their right to vote. Nonprofits are not only places where people can come together, but we enjoy the trust of our communities and are already experts at remaining nonpartisan. This is more important than ever since many states have changed their rules about registration and procedures on how and where people can vote.

    Sign up to join the nationwide effort to register hundreds of thousands of voters on September 20.

    Check out the Nonprofit guide to voter registration in Louisiana.

  • August 30, 2022 2:14 PM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a change to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program rules for a limited time as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. Millions of non-profit and government employees have federal student loans and may now be eligible for loan forgiveness or additional credit through the Limited PSLF Waiver. Under normal PSLF rules, borrowers must make 120 payments on a Direct Loan while on a qualifying repayment plan and be employed by a qualifying public service employer. Now, for a limited period of time, federal student loan borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. You can learn more about the waiver here.

    The waiver will allow borrowers to gain additional PSLF credit, even if they had been told previously that they had the wrong loan type or the wrong repayment plan. The waiver ends October 31, 2022.

    After that, normal PSLF rules will apply. This means that many borrowers need to submit a PSLF form and/or consolidate their non-Direct federal student loans by October 31, 2022, to get the benefit.

  • August 30, 2022 2:11 PM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    Last week, the White House unveiled their plan to cancel a significant portion of student debt for millions of Americans. The Department of Education will:

    • Provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education, and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients.
    • Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 ($250,000 for married couples). No high-income individual or high-income household – in the top 5% of incomes – will benefit from this action.
    • To ensure a smooth transition to repayment and prevent unnecessary defaults, the pause on federal student loan repayment will be extended one final time through December 31, 2022. Borrowers should expect to resume payment in January 2023.

    The Department of Education plans to release more details about the process for obtaining debt cancellation in the next few weeks. This debt cancellation program should help reduce financial burdens on many nonprofit employees and many Louisianians who receive services from nonprofits.

  • August 24, 2022 11:01 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    HOPE Ministries of Baton Rouge was founded in 2003. 

    Mission: To prevent homelessness and promote self-sufficiency and dignity. 

    Top Goal: To grow its workforce development program, The Way to Work, so that more people are able to gain a sense of dignity by becoming self-sufficient.

  • August 18, 2022 10:24 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    Although social media and a 24-hour news cycle certainly makes campaigning and political fundraising seem like a 24/7, 365-day event, Labor Day has still traditionally marked the official kickoff of the fall political season. Some new candidates have already started their Facebook and Twitter pages and incumbents are looking for opportunities to raise more money from their base. That said, this is the time to reach out and educate all of these political candidates. The open primary election date is Nov. 8 and the general election is Dec. 10.  You will have the ear of candidates more than ever from now until election day!

    Louisiana elections use the Louisiana majority-vote system. All candidates compete in the same primary, and a candidate can win the election outright by receiving more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate does, the top two vote recipients from the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their partisan affiliation.

    To learn the names of all candidates who qualified for 2022 fall races, see here.

    Elections Hotline Number is 1.800.883.2805. More Louisiana election information here.

  • August 18, 2022 10:18 AM | Chelsey Blakenship (Administrator)

    All that remains is President Biden’s signature. The House passed the climate, health, and tax Inflation Reduction Act (H.R. 5376) passed by a party-line vote of 220 to 207, and Biden plans to sign it into law on Tuesday, August 16th (it will be signed by the time you read this). Below are a few new resources on the measure:

    IRA2022 implements numerous federal environmental policy initiatives through direct funding programs rather than tax deductions or tax credits. Nonprofits are eligible to apply for several of these programs for use in program-related activities and impact investments. A detailed list of key takeaways of “Funding for Nonprofit Programs and Impact Investments can be found here.

    On the chopping block in IRA2022 from the what was in the $1.7 billion Build Back Better legislation that the U.S. House of Representatives passed last November are universal pre-kindergarten, lower child care costs, paid family and sick leave and the enhanced child tax credit, among other provisions. 

    One key early childhood provision from Biden’s original plan that could resurface in different legislation later this year is the expanded child tax credit, which expired in late 2021. It gave parents up to $300 a month per child for children under 6, and up to $250 a month for children from 6 to 17. It was widely credited with dramatically lowering the country’s child poverty rate while it was in place. The tax credit, which the American Rescue Plan made available to the nation’s lowest-income households for the first time, could still reappear in an end-of-year tax deal. Be sure to remind your congressional members (including state directors and legislative staffers) of the importance of each of the issues above and how funding these to appropriate levels strengthens Louisiana’s nonprofit sector and our communities.
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