Update on tax reform legislation

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

As many of you are aware, the House and Senate have each now passed a version of the tax reform bill that has implications for higher education. The House bill would significantly increase the tax burden for graduate student workers by counting their tuition waivers as taxable income, it would eliminate the deductibility of student loan interest, and it would tax the benefit of employer-provided education assistance. The Senate bill, however, did not include any of these provisions.  There are, however, some provisions of the Senate bill that are troublesome for institutions of higher education, which you can read about here and here. The Senate and House bills must now be reconciled and Congress must approve the final version before it is sent to the President for signature.

The University of Illinois System’s Office of Governmental Relations (OGR) has been spearheading the University’s engagement on tax reform over recent weeks. The OGR team has created a fact sheet that describes how the House legislation would make higher education less affordable and undermine U of I’s mission. The OGR team has directly engaged with the Illinois Congressional Delegation and worked with Illinois Connection on a call to action that has resulted in hundreds of letters and emails to Congress. This activity will continue through the final negotiations. We are also examining how we would move forward if some problematic provisions end up in the final bill.

We understand that there is great concern among students, faculty, and staff about this situation. We encourage you to take action and contact your legislators to make your views known.

Sincerely,

Michael Amiridis
Chancellor

Susan Poser
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Robert Barish
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs