Berea College Receives Permanent Tax Relief

Barr succeeds in effort to include in Bipartisan Budget Agreement provision to permanently exempt tuition-free school from excise tax on endowment income.

February 9, 2018

Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) today voted for the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, which included a permanent repeal of the excise tax on endowment income for colleges and universities with fewer than 500 tuition-paying students.  The provision exempts Berea College from the tax because the Kentucky work-study school does not charge tuition.

“Before voting for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is delivering huge economic benefits across the country, I secured a public commitment from House leadership to amend the law to prevent application of a tax on Berea College that would have limited their ability to offer a tuition-free education to low-income students in Kentucky,” said Congressman Barr.  “Today, I am proud that the House and Senate have delivered on that promise by providing a permanent fix to exempt schools such as Berea that were never intended to be subjected to this tax.  Thank you to Berea College President Lyle Roelofs for his support and advocacy during this process and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his leadership in helping me resolve this problem quickly.”

Berea College President, Dr. Lyle Roelofs added, “We at Berea College are very pleased that the Bipartisan Budget Act passed by Congress includes language restoring the exemption from the new endowment excise tax for schools with fewer than 500 tuition-paying students.  We are thrilled the bill passed, not only for the direction it provides for the federal budget, but also for this relief for colleges that use their endowment to provide access to higher education.  At Berea, none of our 1600 students pay tuition, and we are grateful for Senator McConnell and Congressman Barr’s work to leadership in the Senate and the House for working to address this new tax liability, which would have forced us to scale back our mission of educating students who would not otherwise be able to attain a college degree.”