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County commissioners haven’t done their homework on charities

Our Montezuma County Commissioners are failing in the homework arena. They have been acting to effectively block local charities from obtaining grant funds to undertake economic development, food security and other projects in the county.

One commissioner stated in an open public forum that 501(c)(3) charities could not be trusted and seldom performed as promised. Two other commissioners seemed to agree and did not refute this claim, which commissioners used to deny support for a grant request by a local charity. What are the facts they are missing?

IRS reports that there are now over 1.3 million 501(c)(3) organizations, some being affiliated with churches or clubs like Rotary, with over 900,000 providing critical humanitarian services. All of these organizations are carefully monitored by IRS and groups like Charity Navigator. On an annual basis, IRS cancels the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for about 100 of these entities mainly because they seek a private benefit or are engaged in political activity.

Charity Navigator investigates charities and maintains a public list of 50 they consider to have marginal performance or insufficient transparency. There is no evidence whatsoever that all charities are corrupt. That commissioner stated that he knew charities were fully corrupt based on his personal observation of a charity that failed to perform as promised. This is not what I expect from commissioners obligated to make decisions in the public interest. Judicial reviews may be needed (CRCP Form JDF 610).

David A. Nuttle