Last week, NACUBO president, John Walda, sent a letter to the twelve members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction summarizing NACUBO’s legislative concerns and priorities as Congress tries to complete the federal FY12 budget and the so-called “supercommittee” seeks to trim $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit. In the letter, Walda states, “While we recognize that difficult decisions will need to be made, we hope you will find a way to protect the $5,550 maximum Pell Grant award without further watering down other student aid programs.”
Walda also expressed concerns with new proposals to limit to 28 percent the interest exclusion on tax-exempt bonds and the charitable deduction. Both proposals are included in President Obama’s recently proposed American Jobs Act and the $1.5 trillion tax plan he presented last week.
NACUBO is concerned that while the proposal to limit the charitable deduction is targeted to increase the tax paid by wealthier individuals, institutions such as colleges and universities, as well as charities and other nonprofit organizations, will bear the brunt of a cap on or reduction in the charitable deduction. Similarly, eliminating or limiting tax-exempt interest for all newly issued municipal bonds could reduce the incentive to invest in them, ultimately increasing interest rates and the costs affiliated with building, expanding, and renovating the property, plant, and equipment needs of college and university campuses. The Obama proposal would impact all tax-exempt bonds, not just newly issued bonds.
The letter also calls for Congress to repeal the three-percent withholding rule, which will result in significant, unnecessary financial burdens that will only serve to exacerbate the existing financial strains on public institutions when fully implemented.
NACUBO Council Members Head to Capitol Hill
On Tuesday, September 20, six members of NACUBO’s Research Universities Council and Comprehensive and Doctoral Institutions Council joined John Walda and other NACUBO staff on Capitol Hill to share their concerns about these budget and tax proposals. Altogether, the business officers visited 18 congressional offices to convey their concerns with the outlook for Pell Grants, tax-exempt bonds, and the charitable deduction.
Photo: Danielle Manning, Vice President & Acting Treasurer at Suffolk University and Maureen Murphy, Vice President for Finance & Administration at Emerson College, were two of six NACUBO constituent council members that discussed budgetary concerns with congressional offices on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, September 20.
For more information about these issues and materials you can use to share with your members of Congress, visit NACUBO’s legislative and congressional relations web site.