SACNAS Reaction to Passage of House Tax Reform Bill

Monday, November 20, 2017

Yamila Pino,
(202) 660-1433

The tax reform bill passed by the House of Representatives would raise taxes on graduates students

Santa Cruz, CA— Dr. Lino Gonzalez, President of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would raise taxes on graduate students. The provision— within the overhaul of the tax code now moving through Congress— would tax the tuition waivers that graduate students receive in exchange for the work they perform in research teams. A graduate student who makes $25,000 and receives a tuition waiver for a $50,000 tuition, would be taxed as if they earned $75,000 a year.

“We are extremely concerned by this proposal that would in effect raise taxes on graduate students who are working to make ends meet while they earn their degrees and contribute to the innovation that keeps our country competitive in the global economy.”

“Raising taxes on research trainees would hit minority students who may not have the resources to pay for the higher tax bill. Our government should be incentivizing higher education, but with this provision our policy makers are throwing roadblocks in front of graduate students, especially those from underrepresented minority communities.”

“This dangerous provision would jeopardize our nation’s ability to educate professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as STEM. As it is, we are already falling behind as other nations’ STEM workforces continue to grow and innovate.”

“It is unconscionable to raise taxes on hard-working graduate students who fuel America’s economy. As the U.S. Senate now takes on their version of tax reform, we urge senators to strip this tax increase from the bill. Our nation’s security and economy, as well as our graduate students, especially those from underrepresented communities, simply cannot afford it.”


SACNAS is an inclusive organization with a 44-year history of fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic & Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership in science.

SACNAS serves approximately 6,000 members, a larger community of 20,000, and with 115 SACNAS student and professional chapters throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.


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