LaHood’s bipartisan bill would give tax breaks to post-grad scholarships

Rep. Darin LaHood

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) on July 25 introduced a bipartisan bill to stimulate regional economic growth in specific areas by making tax adjustments for post-graduation scholarship grants.

“This legislation won’t just bolster our labor force,” Rep. LaHood said, “it will also help alleviate the growing student debt crisis and foster economic growth across central and west-central Illinois.”

Rep. LaHood sponsored H.R. 4038 with U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) to amend the Internal Revenue Service Code to exclude certain post-graduate scholarship grants from being treated as gross income, thereby creating parity for student loan payments with how foundation scholarship payments are currently treated under the federal tax code.

According to the Council on Foundations (COF), a post-graduation scholarship is a type of charitable grant that foundations make to attract individuals with career skills needed in a particular region to encourage them to make their homes and build their careers in that community.

“Similar to a traditional scholarship, a post-graduation scholarship would be awarded to an individual who has already completed a degree or technical program in a career field that is needed in a particular region in order to pay off a portion of the individual’s student loans,” according to COF.

“Under our bill, organizations will be able to attract better talent and reward professionals who commit to their local communities,” Rep. LaHood said. “In our modern economy, it’s essential we recruit talent into our workforce in underserved and rural communities and provide workers with the resources they need to succeed.”

H.R. 4038 has been referred to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee for consideration.