A federal court has found a major political contributor in Oregon liable for excise taxes on money his charitable foundation spent on election advertisements, reports Willamette Week. The Nov. 17 U.S. Tax Court ruling involved $639,000 spent by the Parks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) entity solely funded by Loren Parks, on radio ads for ballot-measure campaigns from 1997 to 2000.
Mr. Parks, a Republican donor, is the biggest individual political contributor in Oregon history, according to the Portland weekly paper. The court rejected his contention that his nonprofit's political expenditures should be tax-free and ordered him to pay the Internal Revenue Service about 10 percent of the spending in question, plus interest.
Foundations controlled by "a single individual, family, or small group of persons, were especially susceptible to having their resources diverted to serve private rather than charitable purposes, thereby subverting the rationale for according them tax-exempt status," the court said.