On Tuesday, April 21, I was part of a group of fraternal executives that spent the day on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. The American Fraternal Alliance organizes meetings with members of Congress every other year to make sure our senators and representatives are aware of the impact that fraternals have in the US.
UCT, like all fraternal benefit societies, is a 501(c) (8) tax exempt organization. That tax exemption helps us to support the community service efforts of our members throughout North America. A study recently released by the Center for Financial Policy at the University of Maryland found that the Fraternal System contributes, on average, $3.8 billion per year to the US economy through various charitable and volunteer activities. If fraternals were not tax exempt it would generate an additional $50 million in tax revenue for the government. In other words, for every dollar invested by the government through the tax exemption, fraternals generate $76 in benefits to the US economy. That’s a great return on investment.
My team visited the offices of Pat Tiberi, Joyce Beatty, James Renacci, Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown. There is true bi-partisan support of the efforts of fraternals, and bi-partisan support for retaining the tax exempt status of fraternals.
As Joe Annotti, CEO of the Fraternal Alliance described it, “This was the Alliance’s third “Day on the Hill” event in the past six years, and the results exceeded even our high expectations. Members of Congress have a much better understanding of the impact fraternals have in their own backyards and nationally, and a clear recognition that our tax exempt status delivers a big bang for the buck. By going to the Hill every two years, we’re turning skeptics into supporters and supporters into champions – which will serve Alliance members and the millions of individuals who rely on them well for years to come.”
In two weeks I will be attending a meeting in Ottawa with our Canadian Chief Agent, Barry Spencer, and we will be visiting Parliament Hill to share the story of fraternals with Canadian Lawmakers.
Visit our site and learn more about the good work of UCT members.