The UC Student Association (UCSA) called on students to take action against the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act today by asking California Republicans to vote “no” on the bill. The Republican-majority House passed the tax reform today 227-205; attention turns now to the Senate Finance Committee as it attempts to reconcile its own tax bill with the House by the end of the year.
Both the House and Senate have drafted tax reform plans; the former, as UCSA states, “included some provisions that could hurt students and public higher education.” The House tax reform bill would eliminate the deduction on student loan interest payments and repeal two provisions that let educational institutions and employers provide tuition reductions and tax-free tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependents.
The bill also repeals the Lifetime Learning Credit, which particularly helps graduate and non-traditional students pay tuition, and the Hope Scholarship Credit, which “allows taxpayers a credit of up to $2,500 (per student, per year) if they paid qualified tuition and related expenses for the first four years of postsecondary education.” In addition, the UCSA states the bill does not substantially increase the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps students pay for extra expenses like textbooks.
The UCSA has created a Facebook event page, titled “Call your Legislation to #ReworktheReform,” to provide students with more information about the bill and how to delay or stop its passing. They asked students to call their congressional Republican representatives, especially Representatives Mimi Walters, Tom McClintock, Steve Knight, Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher. Walters represents UC Irvine’s district.