Univ. of Minn. grad students rally against GOP tax bill

Grad Students Would Be Hit By Massive Tax Hike Under House GOP Plan

If the proposed tax bill becomes law, it will hit their household doubly hard.

"With a stipend of about $25,000, I'd be paying close to $8,000, which means effectively the difference between being able to live comfortably in Champaign-Urbana without worrying about money day to day and being very uncomfortable", said Rock, a fifth-year computer-science graduate student from Peotone who was determined to avoid piling up mountains of debt in graduate school.

Peter Weck, a second year physics PhD student at Hopkins, said that were this tax plan to go through, he would have to seriously consider dropping out of his program. The House version of the bill would add income taxes to graduate school tuition when it is covered by colleges and universities. The bill changes the tax code so that graduate student workers would be taxed for tuition that is waived.

At Ohio State on Wednesday, graduate students held a teach-in at the student union where they explained how the bill would affect teaching and research assistants. "Increasing taxes on graduate students will drive talented people away from higher education, undermine groundbreaking research and impose excessive and unnecessary financial hardship on our graduate students". In fact, the House plan with tuition waivers or the Senate plan, which has tuition waivers built in, reduced taxes across the board as compared to historical tax structures. The UI provided $9.2 million of educational benefits to more than 2,100 employees in 2016.

"We share our graduate students' frustration with the provisions in the federal tax bill that would negatively impact graduate students in Minnesota and across the nation".

Bloom said the longtime provision benefited 145,000 graduate students in 2011-12. Students protested at all nine of UC's undergraduate campuses Wednesday.

The House has already passed its version. The Senate's version of the bill - which does not now include the provision reclassifying tuition waivers - was approved Tuesday by the Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Sen. But the new House and Senate tax plan calls for a new 1.4 percent excise tax on the net investment income from university endowments. The proposed tax plan streamlines these benefits into a more effective higher education tax credit, which will help more families offset the cost of both college and vocational training programs.

Gillespie said people often don't realize that in many cases grad students are actually workers. Students at Auburn University in Alabama gathered under the chant, "No grad tax", the Auburn Plainsman reported. "We sent out an email yesterday with the list of Senators, their office phone numbers as well as Twitter aliases to the graduate student list-serv in the effort to mobilize them against this issue", GRO wrote. If it passes in the Senate, it will have to undergo a reconciliation phase with the House passed legislation before any implementation.

Nationwide, about 57 percent of tuition waivers given to graduate students go to scholars in science, technology, engineering and math - key areas for USA economic growth, Delaney noted.

The new provision will not be put into effect for graduate students at the School of Medicine, as their tuition waivers are not tied to employment. "That's so that we can do research, we can teach college classes, we can grade papers and mentor students", student Miriam Rubenson said.

Military research keeps us safe by ensuring that our soldiers have better equipment than their opponents. "The university should be grateful to us for making the sacrifices to attend here at great personal expense and to enrich the great body of knowledge produced and disseminated here".

Under the House tax plan, attending San Diego's universities would become almost impossible for most aspiring graduate students because of high tuition and a high cost of living. Students' loan interest deduction is also at risk for repeal.

Athletic donations would also be affected.

Price said Duke officials are working to protect Duke students, staff and faculty from additional tax pain. The House bill would eliminate that deduction.

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