WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU) - The recent scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service have Members of Congress from both political parties upset.
3rd District Congressman Ron Kind is one of many sounding off about their spending problems. “Nothing infuriates you quicker than when public servants betray the public trust. We see that in a recent report where they (IRS) spent over 50-million on so-called education conferences over the last couple of years, on lavish dinners, and exorbitant speaking fees when we’re asking everyone to tighten their belt and try to reign in spending with the large budget deficits.” He adds, “We’ve got sequestration taking effect, and 75-thousand 3 and 4-year-old kids are going to get kicked out of Head Start, 5-million seniors are going to lose their Meals on Wheels, and then you have the IRS agency out there having exorbitant, expensive conferences around the country and that is inexcusable.”
Kind says the IRS Cincinnati office which handles non-profit applications was clearly not staffed or prepared for the explosion of new applications in 2010 and 2011, but he says the situation was not handled properly, and leaving many applicants feeling they were treated unfairly or that they were being profiled. “It looks as if that’s what the IRS was doing, at least coming out of this Cincinnati office, who admittedly was overwhelmed with tax-exempt applications after the Citizens United case, but they needed to establish more neutral criteria in reviewing those applications, and that clearly wasn’t the case here.”
Kind says the criteria for non-profit status needs to be more clear, and Congress needs to review this and make changes so these problems cannot happen again. He says the investigation by the Inspector General has not led to high ranking officials or the White House, and that the problem with non-profit applications is at the Cincinnati office. Kind also wants to see better transparency rules in place so that non-profits cannot hide their donors.