Swelling College Endowments Tempt Lawmakers Looking for Tax Dollars

For years, lawmakers in Washington have made swelling university endowments a focus of the populist backlash against high tuition and the concentration of rich students in elite universities.

Now they are harnessing that anger with a proposed tax on private colleges and universities that have the wealthiest endowments.

The House Republican tax plan released on Thursday includes a 1.4 percent tax on the investment income of private colleges and universities with at least 500 students and assets of $100,000 or more per full-time student. It would not apply to public colleges.

The endowments are currently untaxed, as they are considered part of the nonprofit mission of the colleges. The new tax, if it passed, would bring in an estimated $3 billion from 2018 to 2027, one of many new revenue sources Congress is considering to pay for broad tax cuts.

Universities criticized the proposed tax Friday as a blunt instrument that would curb their autonomy and reduce support for poor and moderate-income students.

Read more at The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/us/college-endowments-tax.html