Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Why would this happen? So congressional leaders can give large tax breaks to some of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals and corporations in the world.Those leaders had a real opportunity to tackle tax reform and deliver meaningful support to our working families and the small businesses that drive the New York and U.S. economies.That’s just not what this is, and I am grateful to Keith for sharing his story and shedding a little more light on the millions who would be worse off if this plan becomes law.I voted no, and if it comes down to it I’ll do it again.Rep. Paul D. TonkoAmsterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesThree seniors who started as seventh-graders providing veteran experience for Amsterdam golfEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Re: the Nov. 26 letter from local graduate student Keith Preble expressing concern that the GOP tax plan will hurt him and other students in our region, I share Keith’s concerns and voiced my opposition when the bill came up for a vote in the House.Not only would this bill hurt students, parents, teachers and schools, it raises taxes on millions of our middle class and working poor families, especially in New York, and explodes the deficit just to give tax breaks to billionaires and wealthy corporations.Unfortunately, the plan is even worse for students than Keith describes.More than 140,000 graduate students in the United States pay for their education with something called tuition waivers. These waivers are given by colleges and universities to allow students to attend college tuition-free in exchange for working at the school. For many, this is the only way they can afford an advanced degree in many vitally important specialties.The GOP tax plan closes that door by taxing these waivers as income. In the simplest terms, this means a graduate student making $30,000 to work as a teaching assistant and receiving a tuition waiver of $50,000 in graduate credits would be taxed as if they were making $80,000.For many graduate students like Keith, that will mean a 300- to 400-percent increase in their taxes that could force an early end to their graduate careers.
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