1. We continue to utilize our authority, granted under state and federal law, to use federally tax-exempt Qualified Student Loan Bonds to provide reasonably priced student loan financing to Iowa families. We are appreciative of the strong bipartisan support we have received from Iowa public officials for this policy, including through recent changes in state and federal tax law, which continues to provide for these bond programs.
2. We follow recommended best practices and forgive student loans in cases where the borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled. In years through 2017, such forgiveness was subject to income tax for both federal and state returns. However, effective Jan. 1, 2018, new federal law, which we actively supported, provides a tax exemption for such student loan forgiveness. As a matter of fairness to families and to enhance simplicity of tax filing for state and federal returns, we also supported "coupling" Iowa tax law to the recently enacted federal provision on exemption of loan forgiveness proceeds in cases of death or total and permanent disability of the student borrower.
3. There is increasing demand by employees and interest in the business community in augmenting employee benefits programs with student loan repayment assistance, but current tax law does not exempt such payments from tax the same as employee tuition assistance or some other employee benefits. We continue to advocate for equality in the tax treatment of all benefits designed to assist employees paying for their education.