Not too late to protest graduate waiver as taxable income
The 440-page document passed by the House is one of two GOP tax bills passed in recent weeks. While the Senate has also passed a version of a tax bill, its contents are not as great a threat to the future of American education.
The proposed House bill includes a tax that would apply to graduate students who receive tuition waivers for teaching or conducting research. Under the bill, students would be responsible for paying the taxes on tuition wavers they receive. This means the graduate student teaching your physics or English class or leading your chemistry discussion will have to pay taxes on money they haven’t even seen.
The Senate bill makes no mention of the graduate student waivers; however, the bill still has major flaws. The bill passed by the Senate, by a margin of 51-49 along party lines, includes an excise tax of 1.4 percent on 25 to 30 private colleges with large endowments.
Both bills are a disappointment to the Editorial Board: the House bill for it atrocious contents and Senate bill for the means by which it was passed.
With only two weeks to review the Senate bill, the vote occurred with day-of amendments in the margins and dreadful clauses remaining in its bounds. The future of American families rests in the hands of the Senate that treated it like a procrastinated paper due at midnight.
As both tax bills shuffle through Congress, a final bill in which the House and the Senate work together to reconcile their differences will be presented to President Donald Trump in the near future lest the government shuts down.
The Editorial Board is displeased with the House including the graduate student waivers as taxable income. Many graduate students on the UC Davis campus teach lower division classes and receive this waiver. The dozens who marched in the UC Davis’ Grad Tax Walkout are only a small sliver of Teaching Assistants and Associates who work on the campus and the thousands across the country.
The fight to remove the graduate tax from the House bill is not yet over. Students, faculty and community members have other means of making their voices heard. By calling their local representative, the nearly 40,000 students attending UC Davis can make their pleas resonate beyond their individual representative and into the White House.
The Editorial Board hopes that the members of Congress will not just flip the pages of a dense $1.4 trillion tax plan, but closely scrutinize the bill keeping lower and middle income households which make up 80 percent of American households, in mind. A majority of the households in America will be critically affected by the passing of this legislation, whether it be the House or the Senate version of the bill.
It is time for our representatives to think about the people they represent before killing the future of higher education and maiming public education as a whole. The Editorial Board urges all to join this fight by calling representatives in an attempt to not leave our fellow graduate students — and graduate students across America — in unrecoverable debt and maintain their much-needed active presence on campus.
Written By: The Editorial Board