Mayor Dressler Versus the I.R.S.!
You've heard the ol' saying "you can't fight City Hall", and that may, or may not be true, but - God knows -
..... you can't fight the I.R.S. .... but that's not stopping former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Rob Dressler.
Dressler is the moderator of an informative, early morning discussion group called the Forum.
It meets once a month at FAU downtown at 7:30 am, and has lots of interesting speakers and topics.
This week's main topic is .......
....... why did the IRS deny non-profit status to the clearly non-political group? Sure, they have politicians talk (see above), but they don't take sides.
Dressler figures they were caught up in the current IRS scandal and he is having none of it. Below he draws a line in the sand ...
WARNING: THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE HAS DETERMINED THAT THE FORUM IS "NOT EDUCATIONAL".
LETTER FROM THE MODERATOR
Dear Members of the Forum Community,
This letter and the revised logo represent my personal opinion and are not an "official" statement of The Fort Lauderdale Forum, Inc.
As indicated in the recent Forum Update, the Forum appears to have been illegally targeted by the Internal Revenue Service and our application for tax-exempt status wrongfully denied.
Personally, I am convinced this happened, as the bizarre treatment matches or exceeds that to which other groups were subjected (except for tax audits of the groups and their contributors - at least not yet.)
As a result, the Forum has been permanently tainted, in that the IRS has determined that we are "not educational" and requires us to pay income taxes on contributions received, and has apparently linked the Forum (and myself and our Sponsors) with "right-wing" political groups, with which we have nothing in common.
Following founder Jack Latona's example, I have spent six years working to live up to our goal to "provide a place for reasoned discussion of current issues affecting the lives of citizens in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County" by being "non-profit, non-partisan and open to the public at no cost or obligation".
Those efforts have been officially contradicted by our government.
Unfortunately, at this point, despite expressions of "outrage" and "apologies", no commitment has been made to rectify the damage done to the "innocent" groups and to delete all information improperly obtained from IRS databases.
If the "outrage" expressed by the President and Congressal leaders is real, they should immediately order an independent review of the applications improperly denied and assure the leaders of those groups that their reputations have been cleared, and all information improperly collected will be deleted from IRS databases.
Until this is done, there is no reason to believe that anything has changed, and the Forum will continue to be under a cloud, forced to pay improper taxes, and possibly be subject to retaliation for complaining.
Therefore, unless the Forum's application is removed from the target list and receives a fair and independent review by year-end, I intend to resign as Moderator and President of the Forum, and our tainted, taxable organization be dissolved, with all remaining donations returned to contributors.
... I'll let you know what happens .... Tim