Statement from the Hertz Foundation President on the Tax Cut & Jobs Act

November 10, 2017

"In its current form, key provisions of the Tax Cuts & Job Act currently under review in the House of Representatives would have a significant negative impact on our country’s college and university students, the national economy and the future of our country’s position as a global leader in science and technical innovation. The proposed tax bill will make college and graduate school more expensive, threatening the ability of future innovators to pursue advanced education.

Over 145,000 graduate students currently receive some form of tuition reduction, including over 80,000 graduates in STEM programs. Provisions in the tax bill to tax these tuition waivers would significantly increase their tax burden, sometimes by thousands of dollars. Taxing students’ tuition waivers, along with the proposed elimination of the Student Loan Interest Deduction, threatens the ability of many of our brightest students to pursue graduate studies, essentially halting the careers of many future innovators before they get started.

This is only a sample of the damaging provisions in the House bill: for instance, by reducing the number of people who will itemize charitable deductions, the bill also threatens the financial stability of colleges, universities, and the non-profit organizations who support their research and their students.

I encourage everyone to pause and reflect on how this will impact innovation in our country, America’s global leadership position, and the American economy, all in just a few years. Under these provisions in the proposed tax plan, our country’s future no longer looks so bright.

The tax reform acts are far from finalized: the House plan is still undergoing review, and the Senate has outlined its own version which would leave tax benefits for students and universities untouched, but still threaten charitable giving. So please join me in contacting your members of Congress without delay, to make our voices in support of education heard. Demand a better deal for our students. Demand a better deal for the future of science and innovation in our country."

–Robbee Baker Kosak, president, Fannie and John Hertz Foundation