Torres Calls on IRS to Investigate LA County Fair Association
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in letters to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Attorney General for the State of California, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) asked the IRS to re-examine the current tax exempt status of the Los Angeles County Fair Association and work with the California Attorney General to restructure the Association to better serve the public.
“For far too long, the Association has ignored the concerns of local residents and operated without sufficient oversight or accountability,” stated Torres. “It is particularly troubling that despite having largely abandoned their mission to promote agriculture, the Association continues to benefit from tax-exempt status intended for agricultural organizations. I am calling on the IRS and the AG to investigate so that we can make sure taxpayers are protected and the Association is accountable to the community that is most impacted by its activities.”
Under current law, the Association is classified under IRC 501(c)(5) which exempts agricultural organizations from federal income tax. However, the Fair has strayed from its original mission to promote the region’s agricultural industry, and recent reports have called into question its management structure and financial operations in the wake of consecutive years of financial losses and the deaths of two young women at a music festival earlier this year. Unlike other similar organizations, the Association has no direct oversight from the County or other government agency.