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University of Michigan Law School

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The Attack On Nonprofit Status: A Charitable Assessment, James R. Hines Jr., Jill R. Horwitz, Austin Nichols Jan 2010

The Attack On Nonprofit Status: A Charitable Assessment, James R. Hines Jr., Jill R. Horwitz, Austin Nichols

Articles

American nonprofit organizations receive favorable tax treatment, including tax exemptions and tax-deductibility of contributions, in return for their devotion to charitable purposes and restrictions not to distribute profits. Recent efforts to extend some or all of these tax benefits to for-profit companies making social investments, including the creation of the new hybrid nonprofit/for-profit company form known as the Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, threaten to undermine the vitality of the nonprofit sector and the integrity of the tax system. Reform advocates maintain that the ability to compensate executives based on performance and to distribute profits when attractive investment opportunities are scarce …


Letting Good Deeds Go Unpunished: Volunteer Immunity Laws And Tort Deterrence, Jill R. Horwitz, Joseph Mead Jan 2009

Letting Good Deeds Go Unpunished: Volunteer Immunity Laws And Tort Deterrence, Jill R. Horwitz, Joseph Mead

Articles

Does tort law deter risky behavior in individuals? We explore this question by examining the relationship between tort immunity and volunteering. During the 1980s and 1990s, nearly every state provided some degree of volunteer immunity. Congress followed with the 1997 Volunteer Protection Act. This article analyzes these acts, identifying three motivations for them: the chilling effects of tort liability, limits on liability insurance, and moral concerns. Using data from the Independent Survey’s Giving and Volunteering surveys, we then identify a large and positive correlation between immunity and volunteering. We next consider the implications of the findings for tort theory and …


Does Nonprofit Ownership Matter?, Jill R. Horwitz Jan 2007

Does Nonprofit Ownership Matter?, Jill R. Horwitz

Articles

In recent years, policymakers have increasingly questioned whether nonprofit institutions, particularly hospitals, merit tax exemption. They argue that nonprofit hospitals differ little from their for-profit counterparts in the provision of charity care and, therefore, should either lose their tax-exempt status or adhere to new, strict, and specific requirements to provide free services for the poor. In this Article, I present evidence that hospital ownership-whether it is for-profit, nonprofit, or government owned-has a significant effect on the mix of medical services it offers. Despite notoriously weak enforcement mechanisms, nonprofit hospitals act in the public interest by providing services that are unlikely …