Sunday 15 November 2009

The new tobacco

Further evidence that the anti-alcohol folks want to bring alcohol down the same track of "de-norm, tax, stigmatize, ban" as tobacco comes from a piece in Thursday's Press by Doug Sellman:
The same landscape changes that have occurred with tobacco can now begin to occur with heavy drinking. Yes, we can have our alcohol and drink it too as part of the "good life". But this will happen only if the alcohol industry is brought under better control and a much more controlled drinking environment than we have at present....
Careful, that slope is slippery.

Sellman points to his advocacy website, Digging through the website, we find that they're funded by the John Dobson Memorial Foundation, a registered charity in New Zealand. I wonder whether I could have a pro-alcohol lobby group be registered as a charity for taxation purposes in New Zealand. Sellman is clearly soliciting funds for the charity to help in his anti-alcohol lobbying activities.
As you'll see in the information sheet the campaign is being administered through the John Dobson Memorial Foundation, a charitable trust, registered under the Charities Act 2005. You can either send a cheque made out to Liquor Control to PO Box 433, Christchurch 8140, or alternatively make a donation through internet banking to Liquor Control, 38-9009-0359942-00.
Dig deep comrade!
So it looks like donors to his organization get a tax deduction.

In the US, political advocacy groups are given a rather different tax treatment than other kinds of charities, and charities have to be very careful not to stray too far into lobbying work lest they fall into a different part of the tax code. Guess things are different here.

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