TRENTON, November 18, 2017–The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 16 approved H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” by a vote of 227 to 205. Attention now turns to the Senate, which intends to vote on a different— although “equally devastating”—version of the bill just after Thanksgiving, according to the National School Boards Association.

Eleven of New Jersey’s 12 House members voted against the tax restructuring measure last Thursday: Donald Norcross (CD 1); Frank LoBiondo (CD 2); Chris Smith (CD 4); Josh Gottheimer (CD 5); Frank Pallone Jr. (CD 6); Leonard Lance (CD 7); Albio Sires (CD 8); Bill Pascrell Jr. (CD 9); Donald Payne Jr. (CD 10); Rodney Frelinghuysen (CD 11), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (CD 12).

“H.R. 1 would present substantial harm to New Jersey’s schools and communities,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “We thank New Jersey’s Congressional representatives who voted against the legislation.”

Of particular concern are provisions limiting deducibility of state and local taxes, eliminating advance refunding of construction bonds (a process that provides savings to school districts and taxpayers), and encouraging the diversion of limited federal education funds from public to nonpublic schools.

Senate Bill Last week, the Senate’s Committee on Finance concluded hearings on the upper house version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” and reported the measure out of committee.

There are key differences between H.R. 1 and the legislation released by the Senate committee. For example, the current Senate version would repeal state and local tax deductions altogether, while the House bill would eliminate state tax deductions and limit local property tax deductions at $10,000.

NJSBA has developed a sample resolution that local school boards can use to express opposition to the Senate and House versions of the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act.”

Resources:

Comparison of House and Senate Bills (NSBA) (Nov. 17)

NJSBA Sample Resolution in Opposition to the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act”

NSBA Letter to Senate Committee on Finance (Nov. 14)

Reflections: Tax Reform We Can Live Without by Dr. Larry Feinsod (Nov. 14)

NJSBA Letter to House Members (Nov. 13)

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The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of the state’s local boards of education and includes the majority of New Jersey’s charter schools as associate members. NJSBA provides training, advocacy and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.

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