Congress Attempts But Fails To Exempt Berea College From GOP Tax Bill

Dec 20, 2017

Credit Berea College

A provision that would have protected Berea College from a tax on university endowments has been removed from the tax bill passed by Congress today. 

On Tuesday evening a Senate parliamentarian ruled that the provision shielding Berea’s endowment from the tax violated the chamber’s rules. 

Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican representing the 6th Congressional district blamed the removal on Democrats, who originally challenged the provision.  

“It’s unfortunate that they put partisan politics ahead of ensuring that students—many of whom are low-income and first-generation college students and work study colleges—would continue to receive tuition-free education,” 

Barr said he hoped to exempt Berea and other small work-study colleges in future legislation. Under the tax bill, university endowments larger than $500,000 would be subject to a 1.4 percent tax. 

The Senate voted Tuesday evening on a bill that removed the provision protecting colleges that have fewer than 500 tuition-paying students. 

Berea College doesn’t charge tuition and enrolls predominantly low-income students who work jobs on campus or in the community.