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NACUBO Statement on Tax Reform Conference Agreement


National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) President and CEO John Walda today issued the following statement on the conference agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

"NACUBO is heartened to see that lawmakers agreed to remove a number of troubling provisions that appeared in the House and Senate versions of the tax legislation. We are most pleased that conferees recognized the importance of employer-provided education benefits. NACUBO also lauds their decision to maintain the Lifetime Learning Credit and the Student Loan Interest Deduction. Additionally, we are very appreciative that the final agreement continues to allow colleges and universities to finance infrastructure projects with private activity bonds.

However, we continue to be concerned with the inclusion of provisions that will tax or constrain revenues previously used to support colleges and universities, as well as the students and communities they serve.

  • The new excise tax on college and university endowments means there will be fewer dollars available for scholarships, student services, research, and college and university operating expenses, raising costs for affected institutions and working against affordability.
  • Doubling the standard deduction without creating another charitable giving incentive will likely slow the giving that supplements resources for colleges and universities—and all nonprofit organizations.
  • Changes to the taxation of unrelated business income include a new tax standard for nonprofit entities not faced in the corporate sector. It is unclear why Congress is establishing a new tax in legislation that is meant to simplify the code and reduce tax burdens.

We look forward to working with Congress going forward to foster federal policies that recognize the important public service higher education provides and better enable colleges and universities to effectively and responsibly deliver on their missions."

About NACUBO: NACUBO, founded in 1962, is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 1,900 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO's mission is to advance the economic vitality, business practices, and support of higher education institutions in pursuit of their missions.