The U.S. Senate passed its version of H.R. 1, the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), by a 51-49 vote early Saturday morning.
MSBA has concerns lawmakers are creating a potential tax structure that offers tax breaks and benefits for the few — at the price of supporting state and local efforts to invest in vital areas, including education.
The full extent of the impact the proposed changes will have on local decision-making and resources available for public services is unclear; the threat it poses to students, parents and communities is very real. Limiting the current state and local tax deductions and providing tax advantages for private school tuition accounts is a significant step in the wrong direction.
Districts already operate with limited resources to provide students with educational (and other necessary) support. Too many neighborhood schools struggle to balance diverse, growing populations with recessionary levels of funding. School infrastructure, teacher training, curriculum, transportation, health services, counseling, public and student safety measures, and other vital services — which are all funded by state and local taxes — are placed at risk by these proposed changes in federal tax law.
“NSBA and MSBA urge Congress to put students, parents, and communities first as the House and Senate bills move to conference,” said Denise Dittrich, MSBA’s Associate Director of Government Relations. “Together, we stand against any tax proposal that negatively impacts local decision-makers’ ability to govern and operate in the best interests of our country’s students and the American taxpayer.”