Tax reform proposal has some area college students anxious



University of Oregon (UO) graduate students will join thousands of other students in the National Walkout and Rallies Against Trump-GOP at Erb Memorial Union (EMU) Free Speech Plaza Tuesday. The House bill views that tuition as income. Protesting students have set up a camp outside the administration block of the university.

We analyzed the historical taxes of two graduate students* over the four-year period from 2013-2016; one public university student with a stipend between $18,000 and $27,000 per year and one private university student with a stipend between $35,000 and $39,000 per year. She points out that many graduate students have spouses and children to support themselves and don't have the means to pay taxes on money that is meant to make education affordable.

"Graduate school is so hard and add more financial stress to that situation just makes it discouraging for some", said Jeff Strietzel, president of Baylor's Graduate Student Association.

The Rutgers Union estimates that this would see an average of $3,000 in yearly University student taxes, with an upward of $10,000 at other schools where tuition is higher, Baker said.

Overall, we conclude that the inclusion of tax waivers in eventual tax reform legislation is key for graduate students, lest their tax burden increase drastically.

"The Council of Alberta University Students thanks the government for freezing tuition while ensuring institutions are funded appropriately so that budgeting restraints do not impact students", Larson said.

Many grad students are already living at or below the poverty line, with reports that many can not afford groceries without food stamps.

"Tax the rich, not the poor!" The daughter of Filipino immigrants and the first in her family to attend college, Bello already stretches her $35,000 graduate student stipend to support her parents and younger brother on top of her research and housing costs.

"Every student I've met I've encouraged to speak up", Simmons said. If passed, the Senate versions would be reconciled with the House bill for a final vote in both chambers. The bill would repeal the deduction for interest on student loans, which 12 million taxpayers claimed in 2015. The Senate bill does not contain the changes the students are protesting.

English Department Graduate Chair David Eng said the GOP tax bill and the immigration stances of the Trump administration are discouraging global students from pursuing graduate studies in the United States. USC doctoral student Marie Gillespie stood before the growing crowd on her campus Wednesday and asked everyone to hold out their cellphones. "Everybody right now take a photo, snap a selfie, post it on social media. This is while taxes for the wealthy and corporations are being cut in the same bill". "Are you with me?"

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