Statement on House Republican Tax Plan

Graduate & Professional Student Government
9201 University City Blvd.
Student Union, 212 - O
Charlotte, NC 28233

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 20, 2017

GPSG Executive Board Denounces House Republican Tax Plan

Charlotte, North Carolina – November 20 , 2017 – Members of the Graduate & Professional Student Government (GPSG) Executive Board voted to issue a statement denouncing the House Republican tax plan that was recently announced by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The new tax plan is a direct attack on graduate education. First, the bill would eliminate the student loan interest tax deduction that millions of undergraduate and graduate students depend on to reduce the burden of their student loan debt. Second, the bill eliminates the provisions found in Section 117 (d) of the U.S. Tax Code, which would reclassify tuitio n assistance as taxable income. Every available analysis of the House Republican tax plan shows that most of the benefits will go to the wealthy , and the plan wil l add over $1.5 trillion to the national debt.

If you are a student at UNC Charlotte receiving the Graduate Assistant Support Program (GASP), you could make as little as $1 4 ,000 per year in take home pay. Your tuition, healthcare, and fe es are paid so that you can focus on your research instead of working multiple jobs to survive. Instead of being taxed at $14 ,000, GASP students may now be taxed as high as someone who is making $40,000 due to the tuition assistance they receive. GPSG strongly believes that tuit ion assista nce is not income. Students cannot buy groceries, pay their rent, or put gasoline in their cars with tuition assistance .

“ This plan is simply toxic for innovation, research, and economic development in this country, ” says GPSG President, Taylor Valley, “ as graduate students, we should not have to fight so hard to get so little . The tuition assistance classification allows thousands of students to produce the research that is vital to our growth. If we increase their tax burden by 300% or more , we are going to see less individuals entering research fields at a time where they are needed more than ever. ”

Graduate education is the backbone of a strong academic system, and it has propelled the U.S. to lead the world in research and development. By levying this direct attack on graduate educatio n, it seems that the House Republicans wish to diminish the United States ’ standing in the world as leaders of innovation.

Contact:
Abdallah Al Shuli
Secretary of Public Relations
aalshuli@uncc.edu | GPSG Office: (704) 687 - 7163