Finance

UMN grad students walk out over Republican tax plan

UMN grad students walk out over Republican tax plan

Today, CU Board of Regents Chair Sue Sharkey and Regent Jack Kroll were on Capitol Hill to lobby members about the impacts the tax code rewrite will have on students and the University of Colorado. "As a research assistant, there's a small monthly stipend, and tuition is paid for under an educational allotment". However, the House bill passed earlier this month ends this tax break. If you are a resident of Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah or Wyoming, call and write to your senators. Under the new tax plan, these tuition waivers would be made taxable income, which would effectively increase taxes by about 31 percent for research assistants at UC Berkeley, according to an analysis of the bill.

Barclay said the GPSC advocacy office has coordinated several discussions between Duke graduate students and those at other universities as well as working with the national graduate student advocacy association. At scientific research institutions, a huge percentage of the work of science is undertaken by Ph.D. students. That's a value of about $13,000 for in-state students and about $20,000 for out-of-state students. Taxing the waived tuition would present a hardship, especially for lower-income students and worldwide students.

According to numbers that Hyler and her fellow graduate students have crunched, under the current plan a single graduate student who is from outside the state pays 7 percent of their income to taxes. Changes to Tax Credits will provide about $18 billion of the $65 billion in revenue over 10 years.

In its letter, the ACE stated that the bill "taken in its entirety, would discourage participation in post-secondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll and undermine the financial stability of public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities".

"That's not money that even goes into my wallet", said Vanessa Wallace, a student who is pursuing a doctorate tied to her degree in veterinary medicine.

"It'd be nearly a third of your tuition", she said.

"It's a reality of life", she said.

"There is essentially a tax increase for graduate students".

"At a higher tax bracket that means I'm going to lose insurance for my daughter and that's negatively going to affect tax payers, like when we have to go to the hospital for her seizures", says UC Davis grad student Amanda Smith.

The provisions of the bill would result in an estimated 145,000 graduate students across the country facing higher taxes. It's unaffordable taxes. So, people wouldn't be able to buy food; they wouldn't be able to continue to pay rent.

The tax plan passed by the House of Representatives on November 16 would reclassify tuition waivers - which are now exempt from taxes - as taxable income.

"If the bill goes through, the money we never see, that's kind of this technicality of the University, would then be taxable income", she said.

"Tax reform is a work in progress".

Phillipson, a graduate of the SU College of Law, said tax provisions such as these waivers are the only way members of his union can afford to educate their children.

"As we move forward, I believe there is a path that lets graduate students work toward their goals without being taxed".

The university presidents from the UI, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa sent a letter to the Iowa Congressional Delegation stating concern for the proposed provisions.

"You can think about this particular tax reform bill as one part of a larger attack in New York City, [and] globally, on the most vulnerable parts of the population", said Gabriel Young, 26, a Representative of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC).

Worldwide students might not consider coming to Tech because the cost would increase, she said. It's not that people approve or disapprove, but we do get a lot of questions about this: "Have they said something?" Scientific industry in San Diego and around the country will suffer without graduate students.