Bennet, Isakson Introduce Bill to Provide Tax Relief for AmeriCorps Members

Updates Law To Ensure Students Receive Full Value of College Funding

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) today introduced legislation to provide tax relief for AmeriCorps members who earn Segal Education Awards, which help make college more affordable. The legislation allows AmeriCorps members to receive the full value of the college funding provided for their service.

"AmeriCorps members are invaluable to our communities, contributing countless hours of service to improve the lives of our kids and neighbors," Bennet said. "We should recognize their commitment by ensuring they receive the full benefit of funding to pay for higher education."

"I'm pleased to co-sponsor this legislation in the Senate to encourage public service and remove an unfair tax burden for recipients of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award," Isakson said.

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Enhancement Act of 2017 would exclude Segal Education Awards from annual gross income tax. This action reflects the intent of federal Education Awards to help those serving pay for college, and removes 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 1700 hours, earn a Segal Education Award equal to the amount of the maximum Pell Grant ($5,815 for 2017). AmeriCorps members can use the award to pay college 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. This year, more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members are serving in communities across America - 2,500 of which are in Colorado. Since 1994, more than 33,000 Coloradans, serving some 31 million hours, have qualified for Segal Education Awards that totaled approximately $76.6 million.