Across the nation, more than 85,000 young people are stepping up each year to serve the country through AmeriCorps. Each AmeriCorps member who completes a term of service earns a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to use toward higher education expenses or student loan debt—but right now, that education award is subject to federal taxation, which can create an unanticipated burden for those who have served. This week, Congressman John Lewis will offer an amendment to the House tax bill to make the Segal-AmeriCorps Education award tax-free—and we need your help!
Please call Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and ask him to support Congressman Lewis’ amendment (H.R. 1602) to make the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award tax-free!
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— Voices for Service (@Voices4Service) November 7, 2017
As we speak for national service and volunteering, we must be mindful of how critically important it is to keep all political and advocacy activities completely separate from federal grant activities. Furthermore, service has always had bipartisan support. That’s why we must be vigilant in maintaining our focus on educating and informing our representatives about our work and impact in a non-partisan and respectful manner, at all times. If your organization receives federal funds, you are allowed to participate in Voices for National Service call days, events, activities, and sign-on letters. But it is absolutely critical that organizations who receive federal funds keep any political and advocacy activities completely disassociated with their federal grant activities. Please do not make calls while on grant-time or using technology funded by your organization’s federal grant. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) rules are clear on this issue, as are the general rules that apply to all grantees of the federal government. We must be scrupulous in conforming with these rules, and we hope you will review this letter from CNCS that explains the restrictions on legislative lobbying and partisan politics. Again, thank you so much for your passion for national service. We look forward to working together.