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Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the House-Senate Conference Committee Tax Bill

December 15, 2017

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“We are pleased that the tax legislation agreed to by the Conference Committee recognizes the importance of education benefits that help millions of middle- and lower-income students and families finance a college education. Unfortunately, some provisions in this legislation will still make a higher education more expensive and undermine the financial stability of colleges and universities.

The change to the standard deduction will result in reduced charitable deductions, which could easily undermine all nonprofit institutions, including colleges and universities, through a loss of charitable gifts. We also remain concerned that changes to the state and local tax deduction, despite some modest improvements made in conference, will harm state budgets, with resulting serious implications for state investment in public higher education. An excise tax on the endowments of some private colleges and universities, regardless of how many or how few institutions it affects, is a remarkably bad idea that takes money that would otherwise be used for student aid, research, and faculty salaries and sends it to the Department of the Treasury to finance corporate tax cuts.

At a time when postsecondary degrees and credentials have never been more important to individuals and the nation, this tax reform legislation would make higher education more expensive and less accessible. This is a big step in the wrong direction.”

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