Commissioner McGhee Wants to Help County Employees Pay off Their Student Debts

MIAMI-DADE  Miami-Dade County employees could get help from the County to pay off their student debts under legislation being sponsored by Commissioner Kionne L. McGhee.

MCgheekCommissioner McGhee’s resolution would create a student loan repayment assistance program to provide eligible County employees with nontaxable contributions of up to $5,250 annually to defray their student debts. The resolution cleared its first legislative hurdle on April 15 when it received a positive recommendation from the Public Housing and Community Services Committee.

“In light of record levels of student loan debt among college graduates, I believe the County should join the growing number of employers now offering student loan repayment assistance to their employees to improve employee recruitment and retention and help employees manage their financial future,” Commissioner McGhee said.

If the legislation is approved, the benefit would be available through 2025 and would be paid monthly to any full-time employee with 10 or more years of full-time, continuous County service. It would not include any retroactive monthly payments for loan amounts due prior to the implementation of the program or prior to the employee’s eligibility.

Commissioner McGhee’s proposal was made possible by changes in the tax code adopted by Congress under last year’s federal coronavirus relief package and subsequent legislation. Those changes allow employers to provide up to $5,250 in tax-exempt student loan repayment contributions or tuition assistance from March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2025.