The steady stream of news emerging from the nation’s capital can be overwhelming. NACUBO highlights key actions and provides the status of top higher education business concerns.
On the Hill
New Basketing Legislation Introduced
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have introduced the Nonprofit Relief Act of 2019, which would, among other provisions, repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) requirement that organizations with more than one source of unrelated business income (UBIT) compute their tax liability separately for each trade or business (the basketing/silo-ing requirement.)
Parking Tax Repeal Gains Support
The taxation of parking and transportation benefits nonprofit employers provide to employees has garnered significant attention on Capitol Hill recently amid growing support for repeal of the tax. See the Take Action section below for how you can get involved in NACUBO's new advocacy campaign that urges repeal.
Ways and Means Approves 179D Extender
The House Ways and Means Committee has approved legislation that includes an extension of the Section 179D Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Tax Deduction. This provision, which enables tax deductions for environmentally sustainable construction, expired at the end of 2017. Additionally, the Senate Finance Committee recently formed several task forces to consider the fate of expired tax provisions including 179D.
House Approves Dream Act
House Democrats have passed new immigration legislation, the Dream Act, which would establish conditional permanent residency, restore the ability of states to grant in-state tuition on the basis of residency, establish eligibility for Title IV aid, and offer some additional protections to ”Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children. The bill will now be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to pass.
House Approves Spending Bill Funding Student Aid and Research
On June 19, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would fund the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, as well as several other agencies, for FY20. The bill calls for increases to research funding and for student aid, including a $150 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award. In advance of the vote, NACUBO signed on to a community letter supporting the bill, along with 31 other higher education associations.
Treasury and HHS Publish Final Health Reimbursement Agreement Rules
Final rules expanding the flexibility and use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) were published jointly by the Treasury Department, the Labor Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services on June 20. HRAs are a type of account-based health plan employers can use to reimburse employees for their health-care expenses. The final rules contain several components, including the integration of HRAs and other account-based group health plans with individual health insurance coverage or Medicare, if certain conditions are satisfied. The rules explain conditions under which certain HRAs and other account-based group health plans will be recognized as limited excepted benefits, and they finalize Treasury and IRS rules regarding premium tax credit eligibility for individuals offered an individual coverage HRA. FAQs on the new HRA rules are available on the IRS website.
NACUBO Weighs In On Wyden Legislation
NACUBO has sent a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in response to his recent legislation, the College Admissions Fairness Act. The letter, while supportive of Wyden’s attempts to curtail improper admissions practices, urges Wyden to work with the higher education community to address these issues without creating potential negative impacts on charitable giving at colleges and universities.
New Report Shows Charitable Giving is Down
GivingUSA recently released The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, which showed that charitable giving by individuals dropped an inflation-adjusted 3.4 percent, the monetary equivalent of $10 billion, in 2018. In a statement on the report the Charitable Giving Coalition, of which NACUBO is a member, urged Congress to “reverse these trends by enacting a universal charitable deduction” that would offer a tax incentive to all taxpayers, not just those who itemize their tax returns.
Tell Your Lawmakers to Repeal the Parking Tax
Enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the UBIT fringe benefit tax has caused significant distress to many higher education institutions and the broad nonprofit community. This week, NACUBO launched a tool to help you connect with your lawmakers and support the repeal of this unprecedented tax. Simply text “UBIT” to 52886 or click here to engage with the campaign. You can support the campaign by tweeting your engagement with the #parktheparkingtax hashtag.
What Did I Miss in Washington? May 29-June 10, 2019