Petition to Kevin Brady, Elizabeth Warren, Edward Markey
Students & Educators against GOP Tax Bill
**Edit: Even if you are not a student or educator yourself, but you are opposed to the GOP Tax Bill and the implications on education, please sign!** The newly introduced GOP tax bill, if passed, will have a devastating effect on education in the US. Public school teachers spend, on average, $500 out-of-pocket for school supplies for their classrooms. Under the new tax plan, they will no longer be able to get tax deductions for this money spent. It penalizes teachers and students alike. You can see Rep. Susan DelBene's line of questioning on how corporations will be prioritized over teachers. College students will start paying taxes on the interest accrued for student loans. The change will affect an about 12.4 million people, and is estimated to increase the cost of student loans by $24 billion over the next 10 years. Not only will this negatively impact current college students and recent graduates, but it risks making a college education out of reach for thousands of students. Graduate students will be forced to pay taxes on their tuition waivers, which often surpass the stipend they received. For example, most graduate students receive an annual stipend in the $20K - $30K range, while tuition and fees can range from $12K-$50K depending on your year in a program, and the program itself. The bump into a different tax bracket means students will end up paying an additional $4K-$13K in taxes -- when their income is less than $30K! Some having likened this to "taxing a coupon", and believe the bill will negatively impact American research via brain drain. The GOP tax bill is an assault on American education on all fronts, negatively impacting public school students and teachers, college aged students, recent college grads, PhD students, and researchers housed at colleges and universities. Please sign this petition to signal to Congress: we will not stand for it! Additionally, please consider calling your senator or representative, and asking them to vote no on this bill. Thank you for your time!
Petition to President of the United States, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Edward Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Kennedy, Michael Capuano, Niki Tsongas
Keep the teacher's tax deduction in our federal taxes
Imagine you are at work and realize that you are in need of something very important to your success at this job. You go through the proper channels to acquire this item but at every turn are told that this essential item is not truly essential to the job. Some might say, well just get it yourself and move on. Well imagine again that this happens with EVERY item that you need. This is the life of some teachers in this country especially in the most needy of districts. These districts are also the ones with the highest achievement gap. Parents can only provide so much for their children. For some it is a matter of buying clothing or buying the books, notebooks, pencils, markers etc. Clothing is a bit more important. Imagine even further that the situation is choosing between clothing and housing. School supplies do not even enter into their consciousness. Teachers provide for these students because we set our students up to succeed in life. The kids are not the ones that have put their families into these situations. They are just collateral damage. The $250 that teachers can get back via taxes yearly only chips away at the mountain we spend out of our own pockets. Every little bit back helps us to provide the best possible education for the future of our country. By doing away with this help, it impacts those who are the most vulnerable in our country, the children. Please help to make sure that our future has an actual future.
Petition to President Trump and Congress
Demand that Congress keep the Exemption Deduction for middle income taxpayers.
If middle income taxpayers are supposed to benefit from the new tax law why does President Trump and Congress propose to eliminate a deduction that only benefits the middle income and lower income taxpayers. The exemption deduction is limited for married taxpayers with taxable income over $ 313,800, so this deduction only benefits the low to middle income taxpayer. If President Trump really wants to help middle class taxpayers this deduction should be increased, not eliminated. In other words, this is a tax increase for middle income taxpayers when this deduction is eliminated. The 10% tax bracket should be expanded to cover the first $50,000 of taxable income. This again will provide real middle class tax relief.
Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives
Tell Congress to Support EV Tax Credit
Congress is proposing in H.R. 1 to eliminate the federal tax credit for electric vehicles at the end of 2017. Prematurely ending this tax credit will threaten hundreds of thousands of American jobs, weaken American technology leadership, and stifle innovation and customer choice. We urge you to say NO to the repeal of the federal tax credit for electric vehicles.
Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, President of the United States
Guarantee that the Tax Bill benefits ordinary Americans Most !
The current proposals for the Tax Bill significantly increase the national debt by over 1.5 Trillion dollars, which will be a obligation borne by taxpayers. Most of the provisions of the Tax Bill are given to the wealthy and large corporations, with the hope that benefits will trickle down to ordinary Americans as increased jobs, salaries, and economic investment and growth. However, this hope is not a guarantee. If the American taxpayers are to be the risk takers, in this bill, then the Tax Bill needs to contain provisions to help guarantee this bill provides benefits to ordinary Americans. This can be fixed with simple changes we are proposing in the bill. Specifically we are proposing that: (1) if a company or wealthy individual wants to take advantage of the lower tax rates offered, then 50% of the tax savings, must go to a the employees in the the lower 80% of the company payroll; and (2) an additional 30% of the tax savings must go to capital investments by purchasing products made entirely in the United States of America - otherwise they pay the existing 2016 tax rates.
Petition to Patricia J. Gumport
Demand that Stanford Protect Graduate Education
On Thursday, November 2, 2017, the House of Representatives introduced the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Act introduces a number of changes that may affect graduate students, including treating tuition as taxable income, and eliminating or reducing deductions for student loans and other tuition scholarships. It also directly affects Stanford and other universities by taxing university endowments. These changes threaten to make graduate education unaffordable. By counting tuition waivers as income, the new bill will tax the average Stanford graduate student on over $45,000 dollars of extra “income” per year. As a result, we will be taxed at a higher rate – preliminary estimates suggest that taxes can increase anywhere from 200% to 400%, depending on our specific funding packages. Graduate programs at Stanford remit many students’ tuition costs in exchange for wages as teaching assistants (TA) or research assistants (RA), along with a modest stipend. While this stipend reaches us, the tuition fees do not: they are transferred from the University to our respective Departments. In effect, the University transfers this money from one pocket to another. Under the new tax proposal, graduate students stand to be taxed for “income” that never reaches them. This bill can affect graduates students regardless of citizenship status; as long as a student pays taxes to the US government, they will be impacted. This bill will affect anyone with student loans by eliminating student loan interest deductions (currently at $2,500/yr). Moreover, while the Senate version of the bill would not affect graduate student tuition or student loan deductions, it would tax the University’s endowment. We fully expect these provisions to have long-term adverse effects on the University community as a whole. Patricia J. Gumport, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, notified students in an email on November 8 that the “tax proposal has the highest priority attention from Stanford’s leaders and we are advocating actively against these provisions.” While we appreciate the University's statement, it does not provide any concrete information about how exactly students may be affected by the proposed changes, what Stanford is doing to protect graduate students, or how the University will respond if the proposed changes are passed. As students, teachers, and researchers, graduate students need more information about how their jobs and livelihoods may be affected, as well as an active voice in discussions that may affect our ability to contribute to the University. We therefore call upon the University to: Provide concrete information on (a) how graduate students on various financial packages may be affected by the proposed changes, with specific estimates and figures; and (b) what actions Stanford is taking to ensure that the tuition tax exemption and student loan interest deduction are preserved. We also want to know what specifically Stanford is doing in partnership with the peer universities and higher education associations that Vice Provost Gumport named in her recent email. Explain how Stanford will protect graduate students’ take-home pay if the tax deduction is eliminated. Specifically, we want Stanford to guarantee that it will adjust either our tuition or our financial packages to offset any changes in our federal taxes. Hold a Town Hall meeting for graduate students with President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Vice Provost Gumport, and all other relevant personnel to discuss the tax plan and its implications for graduate students, as well as the continued financial viability of graduate education at Stanford. We, the undersigned, ask the University to respond to these demands by December 1, 2017. Congress plans to vote on a tax reform bill as early as Thanksgiving. We hope that the University will collaborate with us on this pressing issue and continue to fulfill its responsibilities to the graduate community. [Note: Please include your department, affiliation, and year of graduation (actual or anticipated) when you sign. For example: Jane Nguyen, PhD, English, 2018.]