Dear Members of the UCSF Community:
Tax reform is moving quickly through Congress. The bills being debated by both the House of Representatives and the Senate this week may have a significantly adverse impact on UCSF, the University of California (UC), and colleges and universities nationwide.
If you would like to voice your concern about tax reform, please consider calling your elected officials. Democrats and Republicans alike need to hear from their constituents that the proposed legislation will increase the costs of education, research, as well as health care for all Americans.
Specifically, the policies under consideration would make higher education more expensive and less accessible for students, which runs counter to UCSF’s strong commitment to a diverse and inclusive student body. These policies would negatively affect the university’s ability to support our tripartite mission to educate, provide quality patient care, and conduct cutting-edge research.
To provide a better idea of what is at stake this week, the House of Representatives is considering the following actions:
- Ending tax-free tuition reimbursement;
- Repealing the student loan interest deduction;
- Repealing the Lifetime Learning tax credit;
- Increasing the standard deduction and repealing the estate tax, which will reduce the incentive for charitable giving to institutions like UCSF; and
- Repealing tax-exempt bond financing options, which UCSF relies on to make capital investments in buildings and facilities on campus.
While the Senate bill does not include provisions to repeal or reduce higher education tax benefits, it is now being reported that the majority in the Senate plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate as part of their tax reform package. It is estimated that this proposal will leave 13 million Americans without health insurance.
You may consider sharing the following messages when calling your elected officials:
- H.R. 1 is a tax on students.
- Proposals to repeal higher education tax benefits will make graduate education more expensive and less accessible for students.
- Don’t make higher education unaffordable for the next generation of scientists and health professionals.
- Future scientific discoveries, treatments, and cures depend on it.
- Defend affordable health care and protect the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
- 13 million Americans are counting on you for their health care coverage.
UCSF is working closely with the UC system, the American Association of Medical Colleges, the California Hospital Association, and others to communicate to our legislators that these tax reforms will have dire effects on affordability and access to graduate education, as well as slowing the pace of scientific discovery in this country. Read more about the UC analysis of how specific provisions in the House and Senate bills will have an impact on the system as a whole, which has helped inform our advocacy efforts in Washington, DC:
- Tax Reform: Senate Committee on Finance Chairman’s Mark of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the Impact to the University of California
- Tax Reform: H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the Impact to the University of California
- UC Office of the President Talking Points: H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
It is critical that the UCSF community join together to help shape public policy that enables us to continue advancing UCSF's mission. If you would like to participate in this or other upcoming UCSF advocacy efforts, consider signing up for UCSF Advocates.
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor