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November 10, 2017

The Senate Republican tax overhaul plan released late Thursday night includes a controversial House provision to tax college endowments. Massachusetts is among the states that would be most impacted.

The Senate GOP plan would levy a 1.4 percent tax on schools with endowments valued at over $250,000 for each full-time student.

Some 70 colleges across the country meet that threshold, including eight here in Massachusetts such as Harvard and Amherst.

Rich Doherty, executive director of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, says the plan would sap funds used for research and financial aid.

“It's totally folly and it will immediately reduce financial aid support for low- and middle-income students, which is arguably what they're trying to sell this tax cut to be all about," Doherty said. "Our colleges are the driver of our innovation economy. It's really a destructive policy."

College leaders say the GOP plan also conflicts with their tax-exempt status.

The House is expected to vote on the tax overhaul as early as next week.

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