1975 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in San Diego, California
Since 1940, NCTE has been tax-exempt under provisions which apply to charitable, religious, educational, and scientific organizations and foundations. As a consequence, apart from general tax exemption, the Council has enjoyed, among other privileges, reduced postal rates and the assurance for donors of tax deductibility on their contributions and bequests. At the same time, the Council has been barred from any “substantial” involvement (note: “substantial” has never been officially defined) in activities permitted to other kinds of tax-exempt organizations. Two such activities are “grass roots lobbying” (alerting members to the consequences of proposed legislation at state and federal levels and suggesting appropriate courses of action) and direct efforts by NCTE on its own initiative to influence legislation. Because of the steady shift in the arenas of decision making that affect the teaching of English, NCTE members in recent years have urged that the Council exert greater influence in shaping legislation. To do so may require a modification in tax-exempt status. Be it therefore
Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English Executive Committee carefully, and with expert legal advice, assess the balance of privilege and constraint under the Council’s present tax-exempt status; that the Committee responsibly assess the advantages and the losses involved in changing the Council or one or more of its entities to another tax-exempt status; that the Committee be empowered to modify the tax-exempt status if it seems clearly in the best interest of the Council; and that the Committee report back to the members at the 1976 annual meeting the results of its assessment and action.