Statement from CICU President Mary Beth Labate on the Senate’s Tax Proposal

News Date: 11/10/2017

“We applaud the Senate for rejecting some of the provisions in the House’s tax cut bill that would have hurt students and families pursuing higher education. The Senate’s proposal protects important tax benefits for everyday New Yorkers including tuition remission, employer-based tuition benefits, higher education savings options and tax deductibility for student loan interest,” said Mary Beth Labate, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.

“The Senate’s proposal also protects private activity bonds, a critical source of capital for colleges and universities pursuing construction projects that benefit their students and their communities,” Labate said.

“However, the Senate’s proposal continues to embrace a misguided policy that would ultimately hurt students—taxing private college endowments. Private colleges and universities in New York use their endowments to provide scholarships to needy students, conduct cutting-edge research and recruit top faculty. Endowments allow these institutions to provide a world-class educational experience that is within reach for all students, regardless of their family income. In New York, 87 percent of all financial aid provided to college students comes directly from colleges. Endowments are the source of much of this aid, taxing them to support special interest tax cuts will directly hurt students,” Labate said.

“New York’s private colleges educate almost 300,000 New Yorkers and so we are also gravely concerned that the Senate’s proposed complete elimination of the State and Local Tax deductibility (SALT) will drive up costs to New York’s families, making it harder for them to save for college and more difficult for colleges and universities to compete for top tier talent,” Labate said”

“A college degree is the best pathway to social and economic mobility. We urge adoption of federal and state tax policies that enable New Yorkers to pursue their dreams of higher education by helping families pay for college and maintaining a college’s ability to help students,” Labate said.