JAAA hoping to save millions with charity move
Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Dr Warren Blake has confirmed to The Gleaner that the body is in the process of adjusting its registration to that of a charitable organisation, a move that is expected to save over $5 million each year.
The JAAA is moving to meet compliance under the Charities Act, which was enacted in November 2013, and has already made several adjustments to its bylaws, including putting into law that members of the board of governors and management cannot receive a salary from the association.
"These persons don't currently (get a salary), but it has to be stated in it (JAAA laws). We operate without any payment, but it is not stated, so we put a resolution to that effect," Blake noted in reference to the JAAA's recent Annual General Meeting, where members were made aware of the development.
"We are trying to become a charitable organisation to comply under the Charities Act, and we had to pass some resolutions. For instance, under the Charities Act, the board of governors cannot be paid, the board of management cannot get a salary from the association and this has to be stated in the bylaws of the association," Blake underscored.
When asked, the administrator estimated that the JAAA stands to save over $5 million on a yearly basis on taxes and duties when charity status is secured.
"We stand to save several million dollars. Last year we estimated that we spent over $5 million in taxes and duties that we could have saved," said Blake. "It means when we import - let's say Puma (kit sponsor) sends down goods for our teams, we have to pay duties on the importation so it means that will be waived as well. You also escape GCT on purchases and you escape some of the taxes so you really save the federation a bit of money."
Blake explained that the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) served as a middleman for many organisations for several years, but that sporting associations will now have to stand on their own.
"Initially when the Charities Act came in, the SDF acted as the go-between for federations but there came a time when the SDF had to tell everyone 'ta-ta', they could not continue that forever so the SDF has said that the federations needed to get their houses in order," Blake said.
He is expecting the change to be finalised in early 2018.
"The lawyers are looking at it. We have to apply for it but it has certain stipulations and guidelines that we have to fulfil. The final hurdle was getting those resolutions in our articles, which had to state that we are not for profit and none of the board members are getting a salary.
We got those resolutions passed at the AGM so it's now for the lawyers to put it together and send it off because we had everything else in place. We are expecting that once we send it off, it shouldn't take more than a month to get it approved," said Blake.