A small donation made to a Spokane Public Schools board candidate appears to violate federal tax law.
The Bridge, a gospel church in Spokane, donated $50 to school board candidate Jennifer Thomas’ campaign. Thomas didn’t know the donation violated federal tax law and plans to return the money, she said.
The donation doesn’t violate state law, said a Washington State Public Disclosure Commission employee. However, federal tax law “prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches.”
The donation occurred when Aaron Tilbury, the founder of the Jonah Project, a nonprofit at which Thomas works, bought two tickets to one of Thomas’ campaign events. Tilbury said he paid for the tickets using a Bridge checkbook. The Jonah Project is an offshoot of the Bridge. Tilbury said the Jonah Project is in the process of filing for its own nonprofit status.
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