Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tax Foundation gives Schock, Rubio higher education bill thumbs up

A recently released analysis by the Tax Foundation found that a new bill proposed by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is a step in the right direction toward a simpler tax code.

"This proposal reduces some complexity that exists in the current tax benefits for higher education, targets the credits for a narrower population of taxpayers and saves taxpayers money," the report said.

The Tax Foundation is a non-partisan organization that offers analysis and input on federal and state tax policies.

The proposed bill, the Higher Education & Skills Obtainment Act, would simplify the tax code related to higher education tax incentives.

Rubio and Schock said the legislation would save nearly $4 billion annually by eliminating credits that currently go to taxpayers who are not students or did not attend an eligible institution. It also eliminates students who attended less than half-time, those who have exceeded four-year credit limitations and those who are non-resident aliens.

The Tax Foundation's findings also revealed that even if the bill were to become law, there would still be problems with using the tax code to subsidize higher education.

"Tax credits for higher education are likely contributing to rising tuition costs while not making students any more likely to enroll in college," the report said. "Although this reform is a step in the right direction towards a simpler tax code, there is still room for a conversation about whether the tax code is the right tool for making college more affordable."