Monday, December 4, 2017
Stop Kumbayaing and WAKE UP!
Dear Representative or Senator,
As a constituent who cares deeply about issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) like my daughter who has refractory epilepsy and severe developmental disabilities, I have concerns about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in its current form because of its impact on services for people with I/DD.
I cannot support the tax reform legislation in its current form because:
- The changes proposed to the charitable tax deduction reduce the ability of nonprofit disability service providers to fund important services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD)
- As the only other federal support for Medicaid long term services and supports, the House passed legislation removing the medical expense deduction could put significant strain on the Medicaid program that serves people with I/DD
- The changes to the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) impact the ability of nonprofit providers and their associations to maintain limited but important revenues
- The changes to state and local taxes would have a negative impact on certain states that obtain significant funding from these taxes for services for people with I/DD
- The House legislation's elimination of tax breaks on bond financing could significantly undermine the financing for affordable housing for people with I/DD
- The addition of $1.5 trillion to the national debt may be used to justify future cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security which are the main federal programs that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
As your office considers how to restructure our tax system, I wish to share with you tax reform principles by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the national trade association for disability service providers. These principles seek to ensure the stability of services and supports that people with disabilities rely on to participate fully in society. I hope you will consider these principles and the well-being of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as legislative tax discussions advance.
ANCOR Tax Reform Principles
1. Any process that includes changes to Medicaid should be accomplished through a process that affords sufficient opportunity for legislators, advocates, and constituents to review and provide feedback on the proposal and legislative language prior to passage.
2. Individual or corporate tax cuts or expenditures must not be paid for by cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, or other mandatory or discretionary programs that promote independence, inclusion, and community living for people with disabilities.
3. Tax reform should not decrease revenue to an extent that revenue is insufficient to continue to fund the programs and services and supports for people with disabilities at current levels or above.
4. The charitable deduction should be maintained and improved for the non-profit sector which provides the majority of services and supports for people with disabilities.
5. Unrelated business income tax should be held harmless to protect the vital role of nonprofits and associations in the disability services sector.
I look forward to working with you to strengthen community services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities - please reach out to me if you have any questions.
Here's a link for you to send your own letter.
Here's where you can call with a script. Do it. I beg you.
The Congressional Switchboard can help you identify your members of Congress and will connect you directly to their office - dial it at 202.224.3121 or 202.224.3091 (TTY). A short script you can use is: "I am a constituent who cares deeply about issues affecting people with disabilities. If you do not already oppose the tax reform bill coming for a vote today, please do so because it has provisions that would harm services for people with disabilities. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones."