22 December 2017

To: Oregon State University faculty, staff and students

From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President

Dear Oregon State faculty, staff and students,

I write to update you on the federal Tax Reform and Jobs Act adopted Wednesday by Congress.

The legislation reflects a compromise between earlier House and Senate versions of the bill and goes into effect on January 1. 

Throughout Congress’ consideration of this legislation, OSU worked with the Oregon federal delegation and national higher education partners to express serious concerns with specific tax provisions that would be harmful to the university community and OSU’s mission. I thank those of you who communicated your concerns to OSU officials and Oregon’s federal delegation. Your engagement helped the university effectively advocate for priorities important to our students and faculty.

OSU is pleased that the enacted legislation does NOT include the following proposed changes:

  • Consolidation of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit and the Hope Scholarship Credit;
  • Repeal of qualified tuition reduction (Section 117d) important to graduate students and university employees;
  • Repeal of the student loan interest deduction;
  • Repeal of the exclusion for employer-provided education assistance;
  • Changes to unrelated business income tax rules that would include university name and logo royalties and certain income from university research; and 
  • Repeal of private activity bonds.

OSU remains concerned about several tax provisions that were adopted into law:

  • Reduced incentives for charitable giving through the increased standard deduction;
  • The loss of the 80 percent charitable deduction allowance for expenditures for the right to purchase tickets at university athletic events;
  • Changes to tax liability for unrelated business income and advance refunding bonds that could increase OSU’s costs of operation and reduce revenues important to the university.

Overall, we are pleased the Tax Reform and Jobs Act protects important provisions from the current tax code focused on helping individuals and families save and pay for higher education. Going forward, OSU will continue to assess the impacts of changes to the tax code that may adversely affect OSU’s mission.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Gabrielle Serra, OSU’s director of federal relations at Gabrielle.Serra@oregonstate.edu.

Sincerely,

Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President