Today, the House Ways and Means Committee will markup tax reform 2.0. This bill builds on last year’s tax reform bill with a number of positive tax changes, including expanding permissible uses for “529 savings accounts” to allow the money to be used for apprenticeship programs, to cover the costs of home schooling, and to pay off student loans.
The tax bill could do more to improve America’s apprentice and education system by including the USA Workforce Act (H.R. 5153). This act provides tax deductions for donations to scholarships funds for K-12 education and apprenticeship programs.
Here is a coalition letter in support of adding the USA Workforce Act to tax reform 2.0:
August 21, 2018
The Honorable Kevin Brady
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Thank you for your leadership in securing approval for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, including the important step – initiated by the House – of allowing 529 savings to be tapped for K-12 tuition. With the creation of new jobs and record low unemployment, the nation is facing a growing labor shortage.
We agree with House leadership and the Ways and Means Committee that the time has arrived to address this labor shortage and the associated skills gap. For the first time in recent memory, the number of unemployed is outstripped by the number of jobs that remain open because U.S. employers cannot find Americans with the skills to fill these jobs.
We need to simultaneously address the skills gap affecting working-age adults and -- looking towards the future -- empower elementary and secondary students to find the best fit for their education to ensure they are prepared adequately for the future workforce.
The USA Workforce Tax Credit legislation (H.R. 5153, introduced by Rep. Lloyd Smucker) addresses these twin goals. We write to request that the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means include the provisions of the USA Workforce Tax Credit within the Committee Mark-up on Tax 2.0.
This legislation (H.R. 5153) would create a national tax credit to encourage donations to apprenticeship and workforce training programs and donations to K-12 scholarship organizations. Importantly, the bill makes sure religious liberty is protected, respects private-school autonomy, and applies to taxpayers across the entire country – concerns that have been underscored in hundreds of meetings we have held with House Members and their staffs.
H.R. 5153 is backed by a coalition of almost 300 organizations, including the Catholic Church and key Evangelical and Orthodox Jewish groups, business groups, African-American and Latino community groups, and more than 30 labor unions. The coalition includes Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform.
H.R. 5153 has more than three-dozen sponsors representing diverse districts across the nation and representing the full spectrum of opinion in the GOP Conference, ranging from: the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R- Pennsylvania), a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus; to Rep. Peter King (R- New York), a pro-union suburban Republican from Long Island; to Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana); to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman and founder respectively of the House Freedom Caucus.
Thank you in advance for consideration of including H.R. 5153 within Tax 2.0.