Friday, August 28, 2015

Does a tax credit make a difference for Maine, debt-laden college grads? - Christopher Burns, BDN

Nearly a decade ago, state lawmakers tried to entice new graduates of Maine colleges to stay and work in Maine by helping to reduce their student debt burden through the tax code. Today, nearly 4,000 graduates who live and work in Maine have signed up for the Opportunity Maine tax credit. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, graduates from Maine universities on average shoulder about $30,000 in student debt, the seventh highest amount in the nation. The graduates who qualify for Opportunity Maine receive a tax credit to offset their monthly student loan payments. Employers who pay their employees’ student loan bills also are eligible. A bachelor’s degree holder can claim up to $363 per month and up to $4,356 per year, while an associate’s degree holder can claim reimbursement for up to $66 per month and up to $792 per year, according to Maine Revenue Services.

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