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Reps. Davis and Smith Introduce Legislation to Increase Tax Free Educational Assistance from Employers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Jason Smith (R-MO) introduced legislation to help working students afford college tuition.

The Upward Mobility Enhancement Act allows employees to accept up to $11,500 a year in tax-free education assistance from their employer. This gives students the opportunity to enter the workforce and earn money while getting portions of their tuition, and other education related expenses, covered by their employer at zero cost to them.

According to Forbes magazine, ‘The latest student loan debt statistics for 2019 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become for borrowers across all demographics and age groups,” said Congressman Davis. “There are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S.’ and a new study suggests that for low-income students and minorities, higher education is increasingly out of reach. For working students this legislation could make the difference in determining if college is an affordable option.”

The specific tax benefit for students that Congressmen Davis and Smith’s legislation addresses was last authorized in 1986. Under current law, students are only allowed to claim up to $5,250 annually in such assistance. Yet in the years since, the cost to go to college has skyrocketed. If the benefit was tied to general inflation, today’s students would be able to receive over $12,000 in employer-based educational assistance.

Congressman Smith believes this bill will serve as a much-needed fix for students trying to work their way through school.  “Many students can’t afford to go to school without working at the same time and this legislation will help them stay out of debt while pursuing their education,” said Smith.




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    repName Danny K. Davis  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago District Office
    2813-15 W. Fifth Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60612
    district 7th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR Il  
    repDistrict 7  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 7th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
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