"Tucked into the two-year congressional budget deal are provisions that would greatly benefit two colleges in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky," according to The Washington Post.
"One provision would exempt private colleges that do not charge tuition from a new tax on their endowments, an exemption that would protect Berea College.
The Kentucky school uses its $1 billion endowment to cover tuition for all of its roughly 1,600 students, one of a handful of colleges with that mission. Senate Republicans fought to protect the college during the tax deal by revising the definition of “applicable educational institutions” from those with at least 500 students to ones with at least 500 tuition-paying students. Adding those two words — tuition-paying — automatically exempted Berea from the 1.4 percent excise tax on its investment income. But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had the provision removed from the final GOP tax plan in an attempt to delay the legislation.
McConnell was livid and said Senate Democrats 'purposefully penalized' and 'knowingly hurt schools that provide tuition-free education to students who can’t otherwise afford to go to college.' The Senate majority leader vowed to help Berea avoid a hefty tax bill, an estimated $1 million tab according to the school’s calculations. And it appears he has succeeded, by slipping the same tax exemption back into the budget deal."
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Publication Date: 2/9/2018