The “Millennials Relief Act” changes Oregon’s tax code to make student debt payments tax-free.
In the 2013-14 school year, 3,319 students at Oregon’s public institutions of higher education received more than $22.5 million in federal student loans.
“Other student debt reform proposals have concentrated on just one income bracket or offered minimal tax breaks on debt interest. Those ideas are all tricycles-this is a Harley Davidson,” said Sen. Chuck Thomsen, (R) Hood River.
Earlier this session, the proposal earned the support of Democratic President Peter Courtney, (D) Salem, who joined the bill as a chief sponsor.
“Education that isn’t affordable, isn’t accessible. We should consider every option to make college more affordable for students. Our bottom line should always be the students,” said Courtney.
In Oregon, 63 percent of students have student loans, and the average debt load is almost $30,000.
The bill now moves to the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee for further consideration.