OCEAN CITY – The list of non-profit organizations included in the beer truck rotation for Sunfest and Springfest was capped at 45 this week, with the City Council voting unanimously to cap the list after a review of the current situation.
Assistant to the City Manager Kathy Mathias presented the list of non-profit groups currently included in the town’s beer truck rotation.
“There are 45 organizations on rotation for the beer truck right now,” Mathias said.
Each year the town includes the approved non-profit organizations in the Sunfest and Springfest beer truck rotation. The Town of Ocean City’s policy requires that the organizations for the beer trucks be non-profit, provide a certificate of its federal exemption and be based in Ocean City.
“This year we’ve had an application from an organization that is a 501-C-5, which is actually a labor organization under the IRS code,” Mathias said.
According to Mathias, the majority, 24, of the 45 organizations on the list are classified as 501-C-3 under the IRS code. Donations to these organizations are tax deductible for those making the donations. The remaining organizations fall into four different categories, 501-C-4, social welfare organizations, 501-C-7, social clubs or “veterans” organizations, 501-C-8 and 501-C-10, fraternal organizations, and 501-C-19.
Mathias explained that two applications had been received this year, one for a labor organization.
“All of the other organizations, except one, the donations are deductible for persons making those donations,” Mathias said. “My question is, we have two organizations that have applied and I didn’t know if you wanted to review your policy and what you wanted to do at this point.”
Councilwoman Nancy Howard said only non-profits should be in the rotation.
“I was always under the impression that the groups that were allowed to do this gave money back to the community,” said Howard.
“Forty-five is a huge number in my opinion. Personally, I think adding more to a difficult classification will just jumble the numbers even more,” said Councilman Lloyd Martin.
Martin went further to make a motion to cap the list at 45.
“I can see the groups that give money for scholarships, for the hospital, for those kinds of things, but I’m having some problems with a lot of the money, it seems, not going to that,” said Howard, maintaining that the organizations included in the beer truck rotation should be included because the money will recycle back into the community.
“I agree with Lloyd, if we keep adding, we’re going to get ourselves knee-deep in organizations that don’t follow the letter of the intent,” added Howard.
Councilman Jim Hall agreed with a limit.
“I think at some point you need to cap it because you’re really just diluting the good groups that have been with us since the beginning,” said Hall, agreeing that the classification is becoming unwieldy.
Councilman Jay Hancock said some formal requirements need to be met before organizations are allowed in the rotation..
“There seems to be no real requirement that some of these organizations do much with their charitable dollars other than make life better for their clubs,” said Hancock.
Hancock suggested the city review the current requirements for the list in order to ensure that the organizations included are following the town’s intent in the beer truck rotation.
“I don’t think it would be asking too much of these organizations to show where this money goes to benefit the community,” he said.
The council voted unanimously to cap the list for the current beer truck rotation at 45, agreeing to review new applications when a vacancy on the list is made available.