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Shaheen & Bipartisan Group Reintroduce Legislation to Provide Tax Relief for AmeriCorps Members

Bill Updates Law to Ensure Students Receive Full Value of Education Awards

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined a bipartisan group led by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to reintroduce legislation that would provide tax relief for AmeriCorps members who earn Segal Education Awards, which help make higher education more affordable. The legislation allows AmeriCorps members to receive the full value of higher education funding provided for their service.

“We rely on our AmeriCorps members to help deliver critical services to some of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable populations, including domestic violence survivors and Granite Staters struggling with substance use disorder. For their selfless public service, it’s unacceptable that these individuals bear an unfair tax burden on awards that help them afford access to higher education,” said Shaheen. “I’m glad to join this bipartisan effort led by Senators Bennet and Isakson to provide much-needed financial relief to our AmeriCorps members in New Hampshire and across the country.”

Currently, Segal Education Awards are considered taxable income. The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act of 2019 would exclude these awards from income tax, to reflect the intent of federal Education Awards – to help those serving pay for higher education – and remove a barrier that may discourage young people from taking advantage of this financial aid. 

AmeriCorps members who complete a full term of service, at least 1,700 hours, earn a Segal Education Award equal to the amount of the maximum Pell Grant ($6,195 for 2019). AmeriCorps members can use the award to pay higher education costs or to pay down student loan debt. Since the program launched in 1994, nearly one million AmeriCorps members have earned Segal Education Awards.

AmeriCorps members provide results-driven service to tackle education, health, environmental and economic challenges. Annually, there are over 75,000 AmeriCorps members serving in communities across America. Just last month, Senator Shaheen announced $4.7 million in AmeriCorps funding for New Hampshire programs.

The legislation is also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). 

The bill text is available HERE