The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, representing Minnesota’s nonprofit community, a sector that employs nearly 12 percent of Minnesota’s workforce and partners with millions, has called on nonprofits to speak up about the potential impact of proposed tax changes. Scholarship America, located in Bloomington, MN, is the nation’s largest nonprofit private education support organization, having distributed more than $3.7 billion to over 2.3 million students since 1958.
“Scholarship America believes meaningful tax reform should not increase the national deficit nor should it come at the expense of education tax benefits that help so many families begin to afford postsecondary education,” said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO.
Scholarship America’s concerns include:
- The House version of the tax bill eliminates a tax deduction of $5,250 for employer-provided education assistance programs. All Americans should have access to a postsecondary education – whether a trade school education, career and technical program, or two or four-year institution degrees. Eliminating this benefit will not serve that interest or the interest of students.
- The House tax plan would also increase the number of individuals who would elect to take the standard tax deduction and scale back itemized deductions, greatly reducing the tax incentive for charitable giving.
- Eliminating or amending the current estate tax would also reduce charitable giving and adversely impact education support programs. At Scholarship America, students have relied on generous and charitable individuals to support many of our financial assistance programs that contribute to student success. Programs like Dreamkeepers, our emergency aid grant program, are privately funded and assist students in dire emergencies to allow them to persist and complete their degrees. At community colleges, Scholarship America has seen that 90% of students who receive this assistance complete the semester and 88% re-enroll the following semester. Elimination of the estate tax will limit charitable giving and negatively impact students with the greatest need.
“We’ve written to the members of the United States Congress Conference Committee on Tax Reform and expressed our concerns,” Ballard said. “We encouraged the committee to consider these concerns as they work to present a final bill to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.”
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About Scholarship America
For nearly 60 years, Scholarship America has worked directly with students, parents, colleges, businesses and communities to empower people to fulfill their college dreams. As the nation’s largest private education support organization, having distributed over $3.7 billion to more than 2.3 million students, Scholarship America is now working to further engage the private sector to support programs and policies that advance equity in postsecondary education and help students overcome barriers to access, persistence and attainment. More information is available at scholarshipamerica.org or by following @scholamerica.