Please read this important letter informing you of what the proposed tax reform could mean to you and what you can do about it.
I am writing to let you know about proposed tax reform that would have huge negative consequences for Catholic schools and their families, and offer you and your communities an easy way to urge elected officials to protect Catholic schools.
Here is a brief explanation of the provisions that would impact Catholic education:
Exclusion for Qualified Tuition Reduction
Section 117 of the Tax Code provides an important benefit to our school communities. Under the provision, discounted tuition provided by a school or diocese to dependents of an employee are excluded from income (i.e., treated as an untaxed benefit). As family-oriented institutions, Catholic school staff are eager and encouraged to have their children attend school where they are employed. This exclusion allows our schools to remain competitive with district schools in the marketplace for teachers and other staff.
Exclusion for Educational Assistance
Section 127 of the Tax Code has enabled an innovative Catholic education model to help thousands of students from low-income families achieve their academic goals and set themselves on a path to success. The Cristo Rey Network students work one day a week at a business, which in turn pays a portion of their tuition as salary. Section 127 incentivizes companies to participate in this life-changing program.
The House tax reform bill would remove this provision; the Senate's bill does not change it.
It is important to recognize with both provisions that the primary use of these two Sections are for college tuition, and that is what Representatives are thinking of when they repeal them. That means our goal is to educate these Members of Congress about the unintended consequences of their actions. Your assistance in this work is critical. Please do two things: first, send a letter, similar to the one attached, to your Senators making them aware of the detrimental impact the proposed legislation would cause in their state; Second, widely disseminate this link to the USCCB's Action Center where Catholic education supporters can quickly send messages to their Senators and Representatives through our automated system.
Thank you for getting involved and letting your voice be heard.
Have a blessed Advent and let us keep each other in prayers,
Sr. John Mary Fleming
May God continue to bless you and your families.