Rooney proposal expands student tax deduction program

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney introduced legislation that would raise the age limit for students to be claimed as dependents on their parent’s state income taxes.

“Paying college tuition isn’t cheap,” said Rooney (R-Bergen).  “It takes many students more than four years to finish, and time is money – especially for parents who are footing the bill while their son or daughter lives at home.”

Only 19 percent of full-time students at a public university earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, according to the nonprofit organization Complete College America.  The organization’s report noted that for every additional year at a public four-year college, it costs an extra $22,826.

The bill (A4356) increases the age of a college dependent from 22 years to 25 years.  Parents can deduct $1,000 on their state income taxes returns if they pay more than half of the tuition bill and the student attends college full-time.  This is in addition to a $1,500 deduction for each dependent, which is extended for students up to age 24.

“As scholarships and savings run out, students and their families are left to pay even more of the costs of attending school,” continued Rooney.  “This will help provide a few more years of relief for parents if that is the case.”

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