Group warns GOP tax plan will cost mid-state students, universities

Dec 5, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE)  --  An organization that represents several private, mid-state universities is expressing alarm at provisions of the Republican tax overhaul plan.

The National Association of College and University Business Officers represents some 1900 schools nationwide, including Belmont, Fisk, Meharry and Vanderbilt here in Middle Tennessee.

Credit nacubo.org

The Association’s Liz Clark says the organization is especially worried about the elimination of the Life-time Learning Tax Credit, allowing part-time students to defray the cost of an education.

“They have struck this provision out of the code in the current draft that was passed by the House of Representatives and there are millions of students that would be affected by this.”

Other changes included in the GOP tax plan would likely mean that very few Americans will opt to use itemized tax forms in the future. Clark says non-profit organizations of all types, including private universities, fear that could mean fewer Americans will make personal, charitable donations. 

“It was itemizers that make up a significantly population of donors when it comes to charitable giving, and with fewer and fewer tax payers itemizing there are studies out there that show that this could be a hit on charitable giving.”

A small number of large schools, including Vanderbilt, are also worried about a tax overhaul provision that would tax large university endowment funds. Vanderbilt says that change alone will cost the school some $7 million a year.

The House and Senate will this week begin negotiations to work out the differences between their separate versions of the tax plan. The House passed its bill last month. The Senate narrowly passed its measure this past weekend.