Urge Sens. Roberts and Moran to vote no on tax reform bill

KASB members should contact U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran immediately to urge them to oppose the federal tax reform bill that will be debated this week. The measure siphons money from public education by eliminating tax deductions and bond financing programs that benefit public schools and adds $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit.  

The Senate is gearing up to vote on its version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” that Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump hope will give them a sorely-needed policy victory after nearly a year of legislative frustration. The vote is likely to take place on Thursday. 

The Senate bill eliminates advance refunding of bonds, which allows school districts/bond issuers to refinance a bond one time for a lower interest rate, saving taxpayer dollars. In addition, it eliminates municipal bond programs that benefit school construction and other capital improvements for school districts.   

The bill also eliminates all deductions for the payment of state and local taxes (SALT) on the itemized federal tax return.  

A Government Finance Officers Association analysis of SALT notes the deductions provide a strong incentive to home ownership, particularly among the middle class. Home ownership, in turn, provides property taxes that support local government units like public school districts. The analysis says 25 percent of Kansas taxpayers take advantage of the SALT deductions for an average deduction of $9,425.  

Social media is a quick and effective way to contact Roberts and Moran. Here are some sample messages to post to Twitter:

@SenPatRoberts, @JerryMoran, Stand up for public schools. Vote NO on the #TaxReform bill. @KASBTopeka 

@SenPatRoberts, @JerryMoran, students in (INSERT YOUR DISTRICT HERE) need your support. #TaxReform at expense of KS school is not reform. @KASBTopeka 

Here are some points to post on Roberts’ and Moran’s Facebook pages: 

-The Senate TCJA bill eliminates advance refunding of bonds, which allows school districts and bond issuers to refinance a bond one time for a lower interest rate, which is a cost-savings to taxpayers. 

Bonds help schools invest in infrastructure for safe, healthy and innovative learning.  Please keep the municipal bond programs that directly benefit our students, communities and economy. Please restore advance refunding for bond programs that help our school districts and communities finance school infrastructure in a cost-effective way. 

-The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would eliminate deductibility of state and local taxes-property, sales and income taxes. Please support full deductibility of state and local taxes and reject any proposals that would limit or eliminate SALT. 

To contact Roberts’ or Moran’s offices directly:

Roberts:  

Washington, D.C.: Chris Allen: chris_allen@roberts.senate.gov  202-224-4774 

Dodge City: 620-227-2244 

Overland Park: 913-451-9343 

Topeka: 785-295-2745 

Wichita: 316-263-0416 

 

Moran:  

Washington, D.C.: Tom Bush, tom_bush@moran.senate.gov; 202-224-6521 

Olathe: 913-393-0711 

Pittsburg: 620-232-2286 

Wichita: 316-269-9257 

Hays: 785-628-6401 

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