UD joins national grad student rally against House tax bill

“I’m going to stick it out to see if I can continue to be a graduate student”, Song said.

The Republican tax plan would force grad students to pay income tax on that tuition.

As a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, I receive a full tuition waiver.

Unfortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) passed by 227 House Republicans on November 16 sends a message to all Americans that accessible higher education is not a priority. For example, Senator Pat Tiberi, who is the representative for the OH 12th district near Columbus, here, is on the House Ways and Means Committee.

The UB Living Stipend Movement is planning to hold a peaceful assembly in the administrative offices of UB President Satish Tripathi on Monday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m.to negotiate grad student worker’s stipends. When Velan asked how many in the crowd receive tuition waivers, the majority raised their hands. That’s a value of about $13,000 for in-state students and about $20,000 for out-of-state students. Also, these students are concerned that they wouldn’t be able to write off the interest on student loans and their stipends for working on campus would be taxed at a much higher rate. Under the House plan, that would jump to 23 percent.

UO graduate students said they are protesting the House of Representatives’ proposal to eliminate a long-standing tax exemption for tuition waivers.

“I do have colleagues that I know for a fact would [leave], and are already planning ahead for that as a contingency, a plan B”, she said.

“I need you to post [that] on social media”, Gillespie said.

Section 1204 of the House GOP tax bill adds the value of tuition benefits to an educator’s salary and other income, resulting in a larger number that could move them into a higher tax bracket. “I think we’re doing alright, but if this were to take effect I don’t think we could afford to pay on our loans anymore”, she said.

What are you hearing from your fellow graduate students? It’s a precarious lifestyle that I think most graduate students live, and nobody is arguing that we should change that.

“Students are going to stop going into the sciences if they have to pay taxes (on tuition waivers)”, he said.

“We know that the university has the money to do this, it’s just a matter of whether or not they prioritize our labor and care about providing for us, making sure we can survive”, Daniels said.

The Senate will likely make some alterations to the House plan.

“Tax reform is a work in progress”. The Senate is expected to vote on its version of the bill as early as this week.

Harding said she attended the work-in because, if the bill passes the Senate, she would experience a $5,000 tax increase that would make it very hard for her to save money with her $31,000 stipend.

“It would more than double my income, without seeing a penny of additional income”.

But other concerns about the overall threat of this proposed tax were shared, as well, in an open forum where people could speak to the crowd with a megaphone.

The Department of Education reports that 60 percent of all graduate workers in the United States who benefit from Section 117 (d) – the provision of the US tax code responsible for the tax-exempt status of their tuition waivers – work in a STEM, science, technology, engineering or math, field.

We are pleased that the Senate’s tax reform proposal leaves intact numerous education tax credits and tax exemptions that help offset the cost of college for students, families, and employers. Between 2004 and 2015, the cost of private nonprofit institutions – which includes tuition, fees, room, and board – increased by 26 percent after being adjusted for inflation.

Such students “deserve congressional support”, they said.

“It would send a message to our grad students that is unacceptable”, DePauw said.

“We want the (UC) to ensure that the financial burden doesn’t fall on graduate students”, Yen said.

As noted in numerous publications including The Nation, The Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act represents a particular threat to graduate workers’ livelihoods.

Deborah Ojeda-Leitner a graduate student at WSU speaks at a rally against the Republican tax reform efforts