AASA Executive Director Responds to GOP Tax Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-875-0723
703-774-6953 (cell)
jminichello@aasa.org

Alexandria, Va. – Nov. 2, 2017 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today in response to the tax proposal released by U.S. House Republicans. 

“AASA understands Congress’ focus on tax reform. The details of the plan released today are a non-starter as it relates to strengthening and supporting our nation’s public schools.

“The impact these changes would have on state and local governments to adequately and appropriately invest in and support critical infrastructure investments, including public schools are unacceptable and put our nation on a path that undermines progress in student learning, graduation rates, college completion rates and career readiness.

“Our position on tax reform has been clear and consistent, as articulated in a joint statement with four other national organizations released just last week: ‘We believe any comprehensive tax reform must preserve the state and local tax (SALT) deduction as a matter of national priority. The SALT revenue is invested in local communities to fund vital needs including infrastructure, public safety, homeownership and public schools, which educate almost 90 percent of students in our country.’

“Today’s plan caps the property tax deduction and eliminates the sales and income tax deductions, a move that splits the SALT deduction, crippling the sovereignty of state and local tax decisions and their ability to ensure a stable tax base. It also creates a double tax, double standard, preserving the income tax deduction for corporations but not for individuals and families. Less bad does not make this approach good. AASA calls on members and leaders of Congress to move forward with a tax reform package that preserves the full SALT deduction.

“The bill also includes expanding 529 accounts to be used for private K-12 educational expenses of up to $10,000. This is a major change from current tax policy where Coverdell accounts, which are income-restricted, were the only tax-free account available to parents for private school expenses. The new bill will enable very wealthy Americans to set aside money for private school expenses furthering the appeal for them to educate their children in private schools.

“We reiterate the importance of Congress ensuring the process of tax reform is deliberate and transparent, and not rushed through for the sake of compliance with arbitrary timelines. We will continue to monitor the broader tax reform effort for its myriad impacts on public education—both long and short term—and we are concerned that the proposal released today ties the hands of state and local governments to support their communities, promotes the privatization of education funding, and attacks, rather than supports, public education in our nation.

“We are deeply committed to ensuring students get the best possible education and support, and the elements of the plan released today fall far short of this basic expectation. Congress can—and must—do better.”

For specific questions, please contact Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA associate executive director, policy and advocacy, at nellerson@aasa.org.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.