Rep. Helio Melo is proposing legislation to provide a bit more of a break for families saving for their children’s college tuition.
Representative Melo (D-Dist. 64, East Providence) has introduced a bill (2015-H 5113) that would double the deduction from the state income tax for contributions to the state’s tuition savings program.
The maximum deduction is currently $500 for those filing as single and $1,000 for couples filing jointly. Representative Melo’s bill would double the limits to $1,000 for individual filers and $2,000 for those filing jointly.
He says he introduced the bill both to better encourage families to put money aside for college as the costs continue to rise, and to provide greater relief to families doing their best to save in a difficult economy.
“It’s not easy for families with children to save money, but contributing to a college savings account increases their child’s likelihood of attending college. The more they can save, the better it is for the child, the parent and, ultimately, the state, because we know increasing the education and skill level of our population will attract strong companies that bring with them better jobs,” said Representative Melo. “This is a relatively small break for families, but it reflects our goals of encouraging people to seek higher education and save money for it.”
The state tax deduction applies only to the Rhode Island 529 plan, not out-of-state 529 plans or other college savings plans.
The legislation was introduced Jan. 15 and has been forwarded to the House Finance Committee. It is cosponsored by Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly), Rep. Jean Philippe Barros (D-Dist. 59, Pawtucket), Rep. Marvin L. Abney (D-Dist. 73, Newport,Middletown) and Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket).