Norval C. Kneten: Tax reform affects colleges

July 2, 2013 

Tax reform affects colleges

Christopher Gergen and Stephen Martin’s June 23 Work & Money piece, “N.C. tax reform to touch next generation,” makes an important statement: North Carolina “needs world-class schools and healthcare systems” to stay competitive. These are the cornerstones of the “great quality of life” we cherish in North Carolina.

Our quality of life, and higher education in particular, would be adversely affected by some of the tax plans under consideration in the General Assembly.

One plan would require hundreds of charitable nonprofit organizations, including nonprofit colleges and universities, to divert resources from their core mission in order to pay new taxes to the state. It also would end tax incentives for many individuals and businesses to donate critical support to nonprofits.

These two provisions would have the unintended consequence of driving up the cost of a college education, creating profound hardship for many students who attend Barton College or one of our state’s 35 other independent colleges and universities.

Those of us in higher education ask that our elected officials carefully evaluate the impact of the legislation and support our continued effort to provide high-quality, affordable education to our students.

Norval C. Kneten

President, Barton College


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