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School Groups Outline 5 Key Issues Involving Tax Overhaul

By Net Assets posted 12-13-2017 02:42 PM


Financial Management |

The GOP rush toward major tax legislation accelerated last night when Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore lost in an upset to Democrat Doug Jones, adding to pressure on the party to notch a legislative win. In a final effort to influence the bipartisan conference committee that was created to merge the House and Senate tax bills, NBOA and NAIS today sent a joint letter (link below) to Congress outlining five issues of importance to the K-12 independent education community.

The letter, from NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields and NAIS President Donna Orem, urged the conference committee and Congress to:

  • Preserve tax-exempt bond financing and reject the House approach that would eliminate private activity bonds (PABs) and raise borrowing costs for nonprofits.
  • Protect the tuition remission and employer-provided educational assistance benefits and reject the House approach,"which would eliminate tax-free qualified tuition reductions and reduce educational opportunity for students." In the 2016-2017 school year, Orem and Shields wrote, nearly 80 percent of schools provided tuition-remission benefits, supporting the educations of more than 27,000 students.
  • Preserve employer-provided housing benefits "and reject the House approach, which would limit and phase out the employer-provided housing benefit, harming educators who are required to live on campus to do their jobs and care for students." 
  • Protect charitable giving "and expand, not limit, the ability of Americans who can benefit from the charitable giving deduction." Charitable gifts support financial aid and many other important projects at independent schools. In the last school year, Orem and Shields noted, "more than 149,100 independent school students received financial aid assistance worth $2,084,400,000," according to NAIS data.
  • Protect the medical expenses deduction, which is especially critical to many families who send their children to special education schools.

Read the full letter (PDF).

NBOA and NAIS urge schools to contact their elected representatives to discuss their concerns, especially if their representative is on the conference committee. For further questions or comments, contact Jennifer Osland Hillen, NBOA's director, tax and accounting programs, at


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