President Thayne McCulloh expressed his disagreement with the Republican tax bill that’s passed through the House and awaits a vote in the Senate, in an email to the GU community Tuesday.
“Both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are considering major changes to the U.S. tax code that would significantly impact higher education, including students, faculty and staff members here at Gonzaga University,” McCulloh said.
McCulloh cited the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in his email. Both organizations are against the bill.
In a written statement, the NAICU said although the bill preserves certain programs, some aspects of the bill would be “devastating to our institutions, employees and the students and families we serve.”
According to the AJCU, graduate students will be negatively affected.
“These cuts will pose a particular loss for graduate students who previously received tax-free scholarship funding for their work as teaching assistants or researchers,” said AJCU Vice President for Federal Relations Cynthia Littlefield in a written statement.
McCulloh said his main concerns with the bill stem from its elimination of the Student Loan Tax Deduction and taxation of tuition benefits and institutional endowments at certain institutions.
In his statement, McCulloh said he meets with Spokane’s elected officials “at least twice a year” and urged members of the community to reach out to their representatives and express their thoughts.
“As the Senate considers its version of the tax reform … members of Congress need to hear from those who have opinions about these reforms,” McCulloh said.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, whose district encompasses GU, was one of the 227 Republicans in the House to vote for the bill when it passed on Nov. 16.
In a news release before the vote, McMorris Rodgers called the bill “must-pass legislation.”
Both of Washington’s Democratic senators oppose the bill.
“When Democrats wanted to increase investments in education, health care and middle-class tax cuts, deficit hawks were front and center, leading the opposition,” Sen. Patty Murray said in a news release. “But now that Republican leaders are trying to jam through this massive tax cut for the rich, which every analysis has shown would blast a historic hole in our deficit. Well, the silence, so far, is deafening.”
According to The New York Times, the Senate will vote Wednesday to consider the bill.
Joseph Thompson is the managing editor. Follow him on Twitter @JoeyJThomp.