Evans: Let’s use same tax credit Trump used for hotel to repair our schools

March 14, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) today provided this written testimony to the House Education and Labor Committee in support of two bills that would make more than $100 billion in repairs to our nation’s schools, including Evans’ own bill:

“Thank you, Chairman Scott and Ranking Member Foxx, for allowing me to provide written testimony. I would like to thank the Committee on Education and Labor for voting out Chairman Scott’s Rebuild America’s Schools Act, H.R. 865, which I strongly support.

“This bill is needed, now more than ever, because across our country there are children and teachers who are wearing coats in their classrooms to stay warm, crowdsourcing to raise funds that will repair broken air conditioners ahead of summer months, and so much more.

“In the city of Philadelphia, tens of thousands of children are attending schools that have had lead in the water, lead dust from chipped paint, and asbestos fibers in settled dust. Although city and state officials have put a limited amount of joint funding toward these issues, the School District of Philadelphia needs federal help to ensure the safety of our beloved children and teachers.

“However, what is happening to school facilities in Philadelphia is not isolated to my city – there are crumbling school buildings throughout the nation and this problem needs to be addressed and included as we discuss infrastructure in Congress.

“Our youngest and brightest learners should have high-quality school facilities so they can achieve their dreams. Instead, too many of them are trying to learn in subpar facilities -- even though we expect exceptional results.

“I support Chairman Scott’s bill because it would use both grants and tax credit bonds to make a major, badly needed wave of repairs to schools across this country, in red, purple and blue districts and states – and it would create 1.9 million jobs. That is a win-win!

"I serve on the Ways and Means Committee, where this bill has been referred, and I strongly support this legislation.

“I would also like to urge support for my related bill, the Rehabilitation of Historic Schools Act, H.R. 158. Among other tools, Chairman Scott’s bill would use Qualified Zone Academy Bonds and qualified school infrastructure bonds. My bill would make another tax credit available as a tool in the toolbox to repair our children’s schools so they can succeed in education and in life.

“I propose to use the same federal rehabilitation tax credit that President Trump used to renovate an old post office building in Washington, D.C., into an upscale hotel. I believe we can and should put the same tax credit to work ‘For The People,’ because the time is now to repair our children’s schools.

“I also believe my bill can attract bipartisan support in part because it has private-sector involvement. We can use these tax dollars to leverage private investment for a greater total impact. We get a better return on investment, we create jobs, and we improve our children’s education and their futures. This is something I think we can all agree on!

“If any of you would like to co-sponsor my bill, or if you have a question about it, I invite you to reach out to me or my staff. I look forward to working together with you to make schools better for the next generation all across America.”

Evans represents the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South, Southwest and Center City Philadelphia.

 

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Media Contact: Ben Turner, Ben.Turner@mail.house.gov