Tax Reform Measures Could Harm Higher Education
November 21, 2017
Dear Member of the Drexel Community:
As you may know, Congress is working on a tax reform bill that contains several provisions that will seriously harm the nation's colleges and universities, including Drexel University. We need to raise our voices collectively to educate Congress as to why these legislative proposals are so damaging.
The tax measure has not been finalized and some of the key provisions may change. But I wanted to let you know that we are doing everything we can to impact the legislation by contacting key lawmakers to voice our concerns.
As it stands, the House passed a version of the bill that contains the most damaging provisions, including a tax on tuition waivers provided to employees of universities, including graduate students. The Senate version of the bill contains fewer harmful provisions and is expected to be voted on next week. If the Senate measure passes, the two sides would still need to work out their differences before a final vote is taken and the bill is sent to the President Trump for his signature.
That means there is still opportunity to have our voices heard. However, the process remains fluid and is moving quickly. I have been in touch with two key Pennsylvania lawmakers, Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Pat Meehan. Brian Keech, our senior vice president for government relations, is also heavily engaged in our lobbying effort.
Other universities are also contacting lawmakers. The same goes for the leading membership organizations, including the American Council on Education (ACE) and the National Association of Independent College and Universities (NAICU), which developed a sample letter for members of the higher education community to send to their elected representatives. Contact information for every member of Congress can be found here.
For those who have not been following this issue, a number of news stories have been written, including several here, here and here that provide additional background information. If you have further questions, feel free to call Brian Keech in our government relations office at 215.895.2244 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.