Statement from UAW Region 9A Director Julie Kushner on the Republican proposal to eliminate the tuition waiver tax exemption

Elimination of the tax exemption for tuition waivers is one more example of how the Trump/GOP tax bill hurts working people, students, and our institutions of higher education.  This tax exemption, which has existed for years with consistent university support, is sound policy that enhances accessibility, inclusiveness and excellence in teaching and research at our great institutions of higher education.  

 It enhances access by enabling tens of thousands of graduate students to afford to pursue doctoral and other advanced degrees while providing critical service as research and teaching assistants advancing the frontiers of science and quality education.  Tuition waivers also encourage inclusiveness and excellence by enabling universities to recruit the best and brightest from around the globe, regardless of background or economic means to study, teach and do research. 

It is deeply disturbing  that Trump and his supporters would try to eliminate this longstanding exemption, couching it as part of a “tax cut” bill when in fact it is just one more attack on our universities and working people more generally and an effort to increase the tax burden on those who can least afford it.  We strongly urge legislators to oppose this tax bill and any change to this important component of our great system of higher education.