ATLANTA (AP) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has caught up on its late tax returns and says it plans to file its 2007 taxes on time.
Last month, the civil rights group co-founded by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledged that it had not filed a financial report with the IRS since February 2005, for the tax period ending in June 2004. Nonprofits like the SCLC are required to file reports annually to account for donations.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the returns show the SCLC had nearly $1.5 million in assets in 2006 a tenfold increase from 2004. Despite receiving more donations, the SCLC still operated at a deficit of about $145,000 in 2006. Revenue of about $368,000 from an affiliated magazine covered the loss.
The returns from 2005 and 2006 also show a sharp rise in salaries at the SCLC. In 2006, the group reported $881,797 in salaries and benefits, up from $327,872 in 2004.
The travel budget also increased, from $11,600 in 2004, to $64,000 in 2006. SCLC President Charles Steele has traveled internationally attempting to open SCLC peace and reconciliation centers, which he said will raise the group's global profile and add to its coffers.
Most of the organization's assets collected to build a new headquarters and fund programs were placed with a newly formed foundation.
Last fall, the organization celebrated its 50th anniversary with the opening of a $3.3 million new headquarters. In the years since King's death, the SCLC has lost influence, funding and membership, and infighting led the group to stagnate.