The tax reform bills passed separately by the House and Senate will go to conference to reconcile differences between the two before a final law is passed. There are some critical provisions that are of importance members of the Catholic and other private school communities:
• Expansion of Section 529 savings accounts to cover elementary and secondary school expenses, as provided in the House version of the bill. Comprehensive 529 accounts would provide parents some practical assistance in saving for the critical years of their child’s education.
• Retention of Section 117(d), as provided in the Senate version of the bill. This section allows religious and independent elementary and secondary schools to offer tax-free tuition to the children of teachers and other staff. It helps schools attract high-quality employees to settings that are favorable to parents and children.
• Retention of Section 127(a), as provided in the Senate version of the bill. This section allows schools to cover up to $5,250 annually in tax-free educational expenses for employees, another attraction in recruiting qualified staff. It is also vitally important to certain innovative private school communities that have work-study programs in which low-income students receive tax-free compensation.
With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act now in a House-Senate conference committee, let your Senators and Representatives know that the final tax reform bill should include three provisions of importance to religious and independent education.
Please use the CAPE Action Alert system to contact your members of the Senate and House to ask their support for these provisions. Typing in your zip code will get you to your members and a prepared message that can be used or re-worded. Also, please alert the members of your school community to the importance of these issues and ask them to contact their congressional members.