11/21/2017 12:11:00 PM Letter to the Editor from Dr. Joey Page
Both the House and Senate are considering comprehensive tax reform proposals. These specific provisions undermine federal support for public education and will negatively impact state and local funding for public schools. Below is my letter to Representative Walz and Senators Franken and Klobuchar:
Dear Representative Walz, Senator Franken, and Senator Klobuchar,
My name is Dr. Joey Page and I am the superintendent of the Byron Public School District. I am writing to let members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation know that I strongly oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act because of the devastating impact it will have on my students and community.
My opposition to the tax reform is driven by two specific provisions which will negatively impact our nation's public schools.
First, this legislation would incentivize upper-middle-class and wealthy Americans to educate their children in private schools by providing them with a tax break as they can now utilize 529 accounts for private k12 education. These drastic changes would enable anyone, regardless of their wealth, to put aside significantly more dollars for use at private schools, at a greater expense to taxpayers and schools.
Second, I am also deeply concerned by changes to the State and Local Tax Deduction. Eliminating SALT will hurt more than 43 million taxpayers from all 50 states and across all income brackets, it also will hurt the ability of state and local governments, including the Byron Public Schools, to fund essential services such as public education. State and local funding accounts for about 90 percent of funding for K-12 schools, meaning that any reduction in state revenue-which will likely happen when any state or local tax is perceived as a double tax when it cannot be deducted-will almost certainly lead to cuts in public education. Over time, it is likely that a change in this tax provision would erode funding for education at a level deep enough to mirror a direct cut in federal, state and/or local funding.
I urge you to oppose this bill, which has the potential to decimate education funding for our state.
Dr. Joey Page,
To that end, if so inclined, please contact members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Here is how:
1. Call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be transferred to our Senators/Representative. The person who answers is taking a tally of votes for and against, and my letter can be read to them.