Ohio State, Michigan presidents come out against GOP tax bill together

Ohio State University President Dr. Michael Drake. (Columbus Dispatch photo by Fred Squillante)

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Ohio State University President Dr. Michael Drake. (Columbus Dispatch photo by Fred Squillante)

Ohio State University trounced the University of Michigan last weekend in football, but that didn’t keep the leaders of both colleges from joining forces against a proposed tax overhaul.

OSU president Michael Drake and UM president Mark Schlissel published a column in The Detroit News on Tuesday, voicing their opposition to Tax Reform and Jobs Act proposed by congressional Republicans.

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The potential law, they wrote, “contains provisions that would make it harder for students to earn a college degree at a time in which the value of higher education has never been greater — to students, families and to our nation.”

The two leaders took aim at part of the bill that would repeal current tax deductions, including one for people paying off student loan debt.

“This means interest on student loans would be treated just like credit card interest — neither would be deductible, at a time when many are struggling to repay their student loans,” the presidents wrote.

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They also voiced opposition to measures that would eliminate a tax-exempt status of tuition waivers for graduate students and a deduction for tuition and related expenses. The two presidents also touted each of their school’s efforts to make college degrees more affordable and accessible.

The senate is expected to soon take up its own version of a tax reform bill soon and the pair of presidents said they would support a bill if it protects “the interests and the aspirations of our students.”


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