Today, Ways and Means Committee Members Reps. John Lewis (D-GA), Pete Stark (D-CA), and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the Computers for Our Communities Act. This legislation will extend a tax code provision that encourages companies to make donations of computer equipment to public schools and libraries.
Congressman Stark worked with Steve Jobs to introduce this provision into the tax code nearly 30 years ago. Rep. Stark shared Jobs' commitment to put a computer into every school in America. Introducing this legislation reinforces Rep. Stark's commitment to our nation's students.
"Today's students need access to the latest technological innovations in order to be prepared for the employment opportunities of tomorrow and be competitive entrants into the global job market," said Rep. Stark. "At a time when many school districts are struggling to make ends meet this legislation will go a long way in ensuring that that America's students have access to the technological resources they need. I am proud to be introducing legislation that will extend this vital tax credit."
"Access to the internet and new technology is emerging as one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time. If education is the great equalizer, then access to technology is the great facilitator," commented Rep. Lewis. "It is changing the way we live and move as a society, so we must make sure that no one is locked out or left behind. This legislation will put more computers in our poorest schools and libraries, helping our most vulnerable young people have the access they so greatly need."
"Developing digital literacy and access to technology are essential to the education of our students and critical for adults that want to advance their careers," said Rep. Peters. "I'm proud to have worked with Representatives Stark and Lewis to introduce this legislation that extends a commonsense tax incentive for our nation's businesses to provide computers to our schools and libraries, many of which are facing significant budget shortfalls."
BACKGROUND ON SECTION 170(e)(6)
Section 170(e)(6) of the Tax Code allows companies that donate computer technology and similar equipment to public libraries, public schools, and educational organizations to take an enhanced tax deduction, instead of just the minimal deduction of their basis in the property. Section 170(e)(6) expired at the end of 2011. This legislation would extend the tax provision through 2013.