• Petitioned Rep. Charles Boustany

This petition was delivered to:

Louisiana-07
Rep. Charles Boustany
Georgia-05
Rep. John Lewis

Stand Up For AmeriCorps Members and Alums - Eliminate Taxing On The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

    1. Jeremy  Martin
    2. Petition by

      Jeremy Martin

      Pittsburgh, PA

On Wednesday, March 18, 2009 Congressmen John Lewis (D-GA) and Charles Boustany (R-LA) introduced H.R. 1596, a bill that seeks to eliminate federal taxation of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, and in turn save AmeriCorps alums hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. This bill was introduced and referred, but never passed on to be reported by the committee. With a new congress, it is contingent that we reintroduce this bill right now, to engage in a grassroots campaign to get our Congresspeople to co-sponsor H.R. 1596.

It is our time to reclaim this bill into action to prevent federal taxation on the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. AmeriCorps members give up years of their life to serve this country, and the least the government can do is to eliminate the taxation of this education award.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. AmeriCorps Volunteers: Don't Squeeze Money From Our Scholarships

      Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps volunteers around the country roll up their sleeves and spend a year building houses, tutoring kids, clearing trails or starting health centers from the ground up. They finish their terms feeling more connected, more...

    3. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Victoria Ryan OWEGO, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      AmeriCorps members working for well under minimum wage in order to better the communities around us and those who live in them should be commended, not punished! Leave our modest Education Award alone and tax those whose incomes will actually generate a good amount of revenue for the government--the rich!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rachel Morr JACKSON, WY
      • over 3 years ago

      I worked as an AmeriCorps member for Habitat for Humanity. After the year, I was very excited to pay down my school loans with the education award. That is until I went to file my taxes and went from getting a return to owing $1,200!

      I found this taxation to be unjust for a multitude of reasons:

      1. As an AmeriCorps, I was making $10,000 a year, living in New York City. It is nearly impossible to put aside $1,200 for taxes on such a meager salary. I was unable to put aside much money at all from any check, and I know very few people who would have been able to do so.

      2. It would be one thing if the Education Award passed through the members' hands first. That way, a member could hold aside $1,000 of the award before applying it, and have some feasible way to actually pay the absurd tax. As it is, it goes straight to the lender. So where your "income" might increase, the amount of money that you can actually save some money from does not at all.

      3. AmeriCorps members already make huge sacrifices throughout their year of service. They do it because they believe in the work they are doing. Taxation of the Education Award is not only another burden put on members, but it also can serve to dampen the spirit of service and the interest in doing good work for the country. I, for one, was completely outraged with our government when I went from getting a couple hundred of dollars on a return to owing $1,200 that I did not have. It felt horrible to realize that I had given my heart and soul working in a government program when the government clearly did not care about me. It made me feel that the AmeriCorps program was a massive exploitation of young idealists by the government.

      I imagine most people examining this bill are in a slightly larger income bracket than myself and AmeriCorps members. Perhaps it's hard to understand how big of a deal $1,200 can be. It's a huge deal! That taxation ruined a few months of my life. All of my plans had to be rearranged and I felt quite desperate and depressed, all because I had tried to do good work for the country and good work for myself by getting an education.

      Please eliminate the federal taxation of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to give something back to individuals that work so hard to give back to this country!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jacqueline Schultz JACKSON, WY
      • over 3 years ago

      I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in Jackson, WY, in 2007. I gave up a year of my life to live in poverty and help an immigrant community desperately in need of literacy skills. The average rent for a bedroom in a shared apartment or house is $500-700. Luckily I came to this position debt-free and my VISTA co-worker had connections and found a room for me for $450. Add buying food, paying for gas, and car insurance, I barely squeezed by with the $860 stipend, food pantry access, and monthly gas vouchers from the Community Resource Center. I don't know how my co-worker survived with a car paymnt each month, plus she had to defer her school loan for a year. She wrote a proposal to our sponsoring board, requesting a rental stipend or she would have to leave her VISTA position. Our board graciously stepped forward to assist us. Why can't the Congress do the same? Please eliminate this tax on our well-deserved Educational Award.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • S B CHELMSFORD, MA
      • over 3 years ago

      AmeriCorps Allumn 2008

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kerry Hanley NEW YORK, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      It's not an "award" it's taxable income that is slated only for federal stafford loans. if it's income, and taxable, Americorps members should be able to use it any way they please. If the government is going to tell members what to do with their money it should at least be tax free. that would be a real reward!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.