Sunday, May 16, 2010

What Do New Jersey & Canada Have in Common? - Proposed Nonprofit Pay Caps

Both New Jersey and Canada are seriously considering capping executive compensation at nonprofits.  Starting with New Jersey, according to The Star-Ledger Governor Chris Christie plans to require nonprofit social service agency that receive state funds to cap their compensation at no more than $141,000 annually as of July 1st.  Lower caps would apply to nonprofits with budgets of less than $20 million.  The big caveat is that the limit would apply to the extent the salary is paid by state funds; these nonprofits would still be free to pay higher compensation, but would have to use funds obtained from other sources to do so.  Other limits would apply to state-funded travel, education, severance, and vehicle expenses for employees of these nopnrofits.  The state estimates it will save approximately $5 million annually.  Only nonprofits that contract with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Children and Families will be affected, at least initially.  An article in The Press of Atlantic City notes that whether any hospitals will be covered apparently remains unclear.  The catalyst for the new limits was a 2009 report by the Office of Legislative Services that found executive salaries paid for with state funds provided by these two departments of up to $250,000 (pages 18-19 of the report). 

National-canadian-flag1 In Canada, a less certain by broader reaching cap is under consideration.  According to reports from two Canadian law firms that have extensive charity practices - Miller Thomson LLP and Carters Professional Corporation - Bill C-470 would give the Canada Revenue AGency discretion to revoke an organization's charitable status if it pays a single executive or other employee over $250,000 annually.  If passed, the bill would be effective for 2011 forward.  While introduced as a Private Members' Bill, which I understand generally means passage is unlikely, this bill has already garnered support from the Liberal Party, the Bloc Québécois, and the New Democratic Party, leaving only the Conservative Party of Canada as not yet supporting the bill among the parties that have representatives in the House of Commons.  The Conservative Party is, however, the minority government, with its head, Stephen Harper, currently serving as Prime Minister.


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Lloyd I very much enjoy your articles.

I wrote an extensive article criticizing the proposed salary cap for Canadian registered charities and the lack of consultation by the member of parliament who introduced the private members bill. The article is at:

Although it is correct that private members bills typically do not pass with a majority of MPs supporting the bill and the Conservatives not wanting to be seen to opposing the bill I think that this bill has a better chance of passing than most private members bill. It is possible that it will pass in a different form than originally proposed and it is also possible that there will be an intervening event such as an election that could end the bill.

Mark Blumberg

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Posted by: Mark Blumberg | May 18, 2010 6:47:30 PM

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