UO Grad Students Protest GOP Tax Bill

Nov 29, 2017

Graduate Teaching Fellows at the University of Oregon held a rally Wednesday on campus to protest the GOP tax bill. It would require grad students to pay taxes on their tuition waivers.

Grad students at UO rally against GOP tax bill.
Credit Emily Sutton

More than 1,500 graduate employees at the UO get tuition waivers and receive small stipends for teaching and research. Jessica Naeffie is the president of the UO Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. She says since the GOP bill treats tuition waivers as taxable income, she’d have to pay about $1,500 dollars in taxes each year. She says this equals one month of her 9-month per year stipend. Naeffie says many grad students have families to support.

UO Grad students rally against GOP tax bill.
Credit Emily Sutton

“Many of the people who are single can’t even afford to give up a month’s salary in taxes every year. So, we’re going to see a lot of grad students not being able to continue on with their graduate education because it’s just not feasible or smart to take out loans in order to stay in grad school and to pay your taxes.”
Naeffie and other grad students are calling on lawmakers to change this provision of the Republican tax bill. Supporters of the bill say it will benefit middle class taxpayers. [I’m Rachael McDonald reporting.]