To help pay for tax breaks for the super rich, Donald Trump and the Republican party want graduate students to incur a devastating tax increase. This is a huge blow to the American university system and to higher education institutions in Clark County in particular.
Graduate school is an important way for people in the middle and working class to pursue career dreams and improve their economic standing. The tax overhaul just passed by the House makes graduate degrees unaffordable for many current and future students by taxing tuition waivers that they receive in exchange for teaching or conducting research. These students already pay taxes on the small stipends they receive, which at $15 to $30k per year barely cover living expenses.
Asking university students to pay several thousand dollars more each year — while simultaneously eliminating an estate tax paid only by the mega-rich — is not only terrible policymaking, it’s morally wrong.
UNLV is working to become a top tier research university by 2027. It and the Desert Research Institute are among the most valuable resources we have for a brighter future. Why would we hurt their goals by making advanced degrees more expensive? This tax plan also repeals deductions for student loan payments, meaning that people paying off student debt who earn less than $80k per year will owe the government more than they do now. Corporations meanwhile would be asked to pay less.
This severely hurts hardworking Las Vegans. UNLV was recently named one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, and as a candidate for Clark County Commissioner in District E, I know we need to fight Trump and Congressional Republicans whose tax proposals would punish students, teachers, and small businesses. We need to fight to keep our schools affordable for ALL Nevadans. The next generation of scientists and scholars will create high-paying jobs and improve Las Vegas’s status as a destination for arts, culture, and business.