Does the NEA Pay Its Taxes?

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The NEA is facing some pretty serious charges of underpaying its taxes. A gadfly public interest law firm called the Landmark Legal Foundation has alleged in a formal complaint to the IRS that the NEA has avoided paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes that it owed under the law. The law requires the union to report and pay taxes on all tax-exempt funds spent to influence elections or defeat candidates. But according to Landmark, the NEA failed to pay taxes on two million dollars for its 2000-2002 Strategic plan (a state-by-state plan to elect "pro-education" candidates), and didn't pay taxes on its $76 million expenditure for its 1999-2002 UniServ program (its formidable stable of paid lobbyists and political organizers), among other improprieties. The NEA denies any wrongdoing and claims that the Landmark suit is frivolous and politically motivated. Meanwhile, Rep. Charles Norwood (R-GA) has asked the IRS to formally investigate the NEA. "Let's treat the NEA like any other tax-paying American," says Norwood.