Take Action on the Proposed Tax Overhaul ↴
The U.S. Congress recently released H.R. 1, the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” which is an overhaul of the U.S. tax system, the first in over 25 years. Provisions in this new tax plan will eliminate essential support for higher education. The House of Representatives is currently debating the bill, and AAAS wants you to let your member of congress know how the bill will affect you.
In the STEM community, many of us were supported in graduate school through graduate research assistantships and graduate teaching assistantships. Provisions in the tax code allowed the university to waive our tuition and fees. For graduate students these costs were tax exempt and not considered wages for the students, but congress is proposing to repeal this provision. During the 2011-2012 academic year, about 145,000 total grad students benefited from this tax exemption according to CUPA-HR, and the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reported that the average tuition and fee waivers for doctoral students was $12,645.90. CGS shared a few examples of how this change in the tax code will affect graduate students here.
On Monday, November 6, 2017, numerous organizations that support the higher education community sent letters to the House Ways and Means Committee expressing their concerns for the STEM community including the American Council on Education (ACE), which sent this letter and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) that sent this letter.
Please contact your representative and tell them how these changes in the tax code will affect you, your students, the university, and the STEM community at large. You can find your representative by typing in your zip code here, and then follow instructions on their website on how to contact them.