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Newport Beach

November 07, 2000|Mathis Winkler, (949) 574-4232

The Bluffs Homeowners Assn. may have violated Internal Revenue Service code regulations by including one-sided campaign fliers in its monthly bills to residents.

As a nonprofit organization, the association is "prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign," according to an advisory the IRS released earlier this year to alert nonprofits to the code.

The Bluffs' 647 homeowners received a two-page mailer in bills that went out around Oct. 25, said Cork Levinson, president of the association's board of directors.

The first page, titled "Measure S (Greenlight): Questions and Answers," lists development projects that could be affected by the initiative. The mailer's second page includes a box that reads "Vote yes on S, Vote no on T."

Levinson did not dispute that the mailer favored Measure S. He said the homeowners association had extended an invitation to the Measure T campaign to supply similar materials for inclusion in the billing statements, but it didn't receive a response.

A spokesman for the IRS said a decision on whether the association violated the campaign ban for nonprofit organizations would require an investigation.

According to the agency's advisory, "If the IRS finds a [nonprofit] organization engaged in prohibited campaign activity, the organization could lose its [tax-]exempt status."

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