Letter: IWV Joins Coalition Supporting Expanding 529 Accounts To Cover Learning-At-Home Costs Sparked by Coronavirus

April 23, 2020

Dear Leader McConnell & Leader McCarthy:

As Congress works toward future legislation to mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19, we urge you to expand 529 education savings accounts so that they can be used for expenses related to learning from home.

Because of the Coronavirus threat, Americans have been forced into self-isolation and schools have been shut down. Tens of millions of students are forced to learn from home, a situation that has led to additional costs stemming from the need to implement online and distance learning. These new costs are exacerbated by the financial hardships that Americans are experiencing across the country due to a lost job, or reduction in work hours.

Congress can help families with these new expenses by expanding 529 education savings accounts to cover expenses incurred from learning from home. These expenses can include curriculum and curricular materials, books or other instructional materials, online educational materials, tuition for tutoring or educational classes outside of the home, and educational therapies for students with disabilities.

529s are already a proven way for families to meet education expenses. These tax advantaged savings accounts allow parents to save and invest after-tax income for education costs. These accounts can currently be used to cover the cost of college and K-12 expenses including tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and computers.

In addition, these accounts offer significant tax reduction. Any money earned in an account can be invested tax free and funds can be withdrawn for qualified expenses tax free. Although contributions are not federally deductible, over 30 states offer a full or partial tax deduction for 529 contributions.

Because of these benefits, 529s are extremely popular amongst middle class American families. Today, there are over 14 million 529 accounts.

There is also support for this proposal in Congress. Congressman Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) recently led a letter signed by 13 lawmakers urging House and Senate leadership to support allowing 529s to be used for home learning expenses.

As you continue working on proposals to address the damage caused by COVID-19, we urge you to support this request. Expanding 529s should be part of the solution to helping Americans get through the pandemic by providing assistance to students and families across the country.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

Ryan Ellis, President, Center for a Free Economy

Jim Martin, Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President, 60 Plus Association

Mead Treadwell, Former Lt. Governor, State of Alaska Chair, Alaska Center-Right Meeting

Marty Connors, Alabama Center-Right Coalition Leader

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO, ALEC Action

John Schilling, President, American Federation for Children

Brent Wm. Gardner, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Kevin Waterman, Chair, Annapolis Center-Right Coalition Meeting

Jeffrey Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom

Matthew Kandrach, President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Olivia Grady, Senior Fellow, Center for Worker Freedom

Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach (Nevada)

Andrew F. Quinlan, President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Timothy Head, Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition

Rick Watson, Chairman, Florida Center/Right Coalition

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

Patrick Jones, Executive Director, Free California

Annette Meeks, CEO, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Victor Riches, President & CEO, Goldwater Institute

James Taylor, President, The Heartland Institute

Jessica Anderson, Executive Director, Heritage Action

Carrie Lukas, President, Independent Women’s Forum

Heather Higgins, CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Chris Ingstad, President, Iowans for Tax Relief

Bill Mattox, Policy Director, Marshall Center for Educational Options, The James Madison Institute

Seton Motley, President, Less Government

Tim Jones, Chair, Missouri Center-Right Coalition, Fmr. Speaker, Missouri House

Ben DeGrow, Director of Education Policy, Mackinac Center

Jameson Taylor, Ph.D., Vice President for Policy, Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Pete Sepp, President, National Taxpayers Union

The Honorable BIll O’Brien, Co-chair, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition

Bette Grande, CEO & President, Roughrider Policy Center

Representative Niraj J. Antani, District 42, Ohio House of Representatives

Brandon Dutcher, Senior Vice President, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Daniel J. Erspamer, CEO, Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Mike Stenhouse, CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity

Paul Gessing, President, Rio Grande Foundation

Jim Bender, President, School Choice Wisconsin

Rick Larsen, President, Sutherland Institute

David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Maureen Blum, USA Workforce Coalition,#EDTaxCredit50 Coalition

CJ Szafir, Executive Vice President, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty

 



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