Home Advocate The largest political advocacy donation in US history was made with a series of loopholes that helped a billionaire donor avoid paying taxes

The largest political advocacy donation in US history was made with a series of loopholes that helped a billionaire donor avoid paying taxes

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Leonard Leo speaks during the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC on April 23, 2019.Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

  • The largest political advocacy donation in US history was revealed by the New York Times on Monday.

  • Barre Seid donated $1.6 billion to the Marble Freedom Trust, a political advocacy group led by Leonard Leo.

  • The transaction was done through an asset sale, meaning Seid paid no tax on the donation.

A little-known billionaire tech maker has donated a whopping $1.6 to a group called Marble Freedom Trust, making history the largest donation ever to a political advocacy nonprofit, ProPublica reported. .

Barre Seid, a 90-year-old Chicago native, used a system of loopholes that allowed the huge donation to circumvent tax laws and end up in the pockets of Leonard A. Leo, the former vice- president of the Federalist Society now head of the newly created Marble Freedom Trust.

The donation, made in 2020 after the trust was formed, was revealed by The New York Times on Monday and could help shape conservative politics and influence elections for months to come.

Leo’s new group is a 501(c)4 organization, which means that although it is tax-exempt, donors cannot deduct the donations from their tax returns, the Times reported. However, asset donations can circumvent this and allow financial supporters to avoid taxes on the sale of said assets.

Seid donated the $1.6 billion by selling all the shares of his former company – an electronic equipment company now known as Tripp Lite – before it was acquired by an Irish company for 1, $65 billion, according to tax records obtained by The Times.

As a result, Marble Freedom Trust and Seid paid no federal money transfer taxes. Ray D. Madoff, a tax law professor at Boston College, told The Times that even if the donation was legal, it “cost American taxpayers to support the political spending of the wealthiest Americans.”

Although Seid hasn’t been a leading figure in the world of conservative politics, he’s had his fair share of political controversy in recent years, ProPublica reported.

Seid previously donated to the Heartland Institute, a nonprofit known for spreading climate misinformation, and also appeared on a list of donors to help fund the distribution of “Radical Islam” DVDs in 2008. reported ProPublica.

Read the original article on Business Insider