As the executive council of the Emerging Scholars Organization, we have drafted a letter to send to our legislators in response to the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which passed in the House of Representatives yesterday). Under this plan’s proposed “reforms,” graduate students will be taxed for the value of their tuition waivers. As many of you already know, graduate students do not live luxurious lives, and we believe this change in the tax code will significantly impact the ability to pay for basic living expenses. It will also encourage graduate students to go to programs in states where they have established residency to avoid being assessed a tax on higher out-of-state tuition rates. It would also discourage students from attending private universities.
We would like to ask for your help in sending our letter to as many legislators as we can, as many times as possible, and from as many different people as possible. We’ve attached three versions of the letter here—the version we’ve written and signed from the executive council, and two templates. If you’re short on time, we ask that you simply save the version signed by the ESO executive council, fill in the names and addresses for your representatives, and forward it to them via fax. (We’re using Fax Zero because they make it easy to look up contact information for government officials in DC.)
If you have a little more time, we’ve also attached two templates—one for graduate students and one for our faculty allies. You can modify these templates as little or as much as you would like, or you can use them as a jumping off point to write a letter from organizations at your own institutions. Our goal is simply to let our government representatives know how much we care about this issue with the volume of correspondence they receive.
Thank you for all you do to advocate for emerging scholars.
To view the ESO Tax Letter, click here.