News and analysis
February 18, 2015

Pa. Senate Backs Measure to Let Legislators Define Charities

The Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday advanced a proposed state constitutional amendment that would give state lawmakers the authority to determine which organizations qualify for charitable tax breaks, reports The Associated Press. The 30-19 party-line vote in the Republican-led Senate sends the measure to the House, which is also controlled by the GOP.

If approved by the full legislature, the amendment, prompted by the state Supreme Court's 2012 rejection of a property-tax break for a nonprofit summer camp, would go before voters in November. The measure is favored by large hospitals, universities, and other nonprofits and opposed by cash-strapped towns, cities, and counties looking for ways to expand their tax bases.