Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We ALL Pay for the Boy Scouts of America

The homophobic-by-policy Boy Scouts of America is a massive, tax-exempt, financial empire with hundreds of affiliated or  related entities creating a byzantine maze of inter-entity transactions. To keep things reasonably simple, I have confined the following exploration to the National Council in Irvington, TX for the year ended December 31, 2010. I have excluded all of the directly related entities.

Just how much are we all subsidizing the Boy Scouts of America?

  • BSA, Inc. had (untaxed) profits of $31 million on revenues of $238 million.
  • During the year BSA had an estimated $60 million of expenses that would have otherwise been subjected to state and local sales taxes     sums that they did not pay.
  • Partly because of not-for-profit tax treatment, the National Council has accumulated assets in excess of one billion dollars
  • Through municipal authorities, in 2010 BSA issued $100 million of bonds on which the interest received by investors is tax exempt.
  • Donors received over $50 million of tax deductions for contributions to BSA.
Again, this is just part of a part. For example, during the same year the Alaska council received over $1 million in federal funds. The Dallas council had revenues of $25 million during the year that are not included. New York, California and other regional councils had revenues of tens of millions of dollars. Some of this is paid to the national council as "assessments" but the majority is retained by the local entities. These regional councils have huge amounts of assets on which they have paid no taxes. A burden that has to be offset by individual and corporate taxpayers.

I am not suggesting that BSA is not a legitimate non-profit     although I do think that they should give more of their staggering wealth back to their communities. What I am suggesting is that BSA should recognize that we all, including LGBT citizens, subsidize the enterprise.
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