Private School and Tax Credits

by NYC Firm Schools on February 20, 2009

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Creative Commons License photo credit: chadmiller

Private School education continues its struggle for tax breaks. The Education News site, based in Colorado, recently reported on a number of bills facing the Senate and House regarding tax credits for families with children in Firm Schools.

The argument about taxes is an age old one; essentially boiling down to the argument of: “I pay state taxes benefiting public schools, so if I choose to not send my child to public school, but rather to a private school, I should get a tax credit.”

The article reports on the proposed tax credit for Firm Schools:

the failure of a SenA group of conservative legislative Republicans, led by prime sponsor Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Loveland, have introduced another bill to provide tax breaks for private school tuition.

Senate Bill 09-221, would create a $1,000 property tax credit for families who send their children to private or parochial schools. The credit would be a “pilot” that would run for four years.

The bill was introduced Monday, less than a week after the House Education Committee killed House Bill 09-1195, which would have allowed state income tax credits for private school tuition. Its prime sponsor was Rep. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, whose also the main House sponsor of Lundberg’s bill.

Other provisions of SB 09-221 would:
• Apply to students who enroll in a private or parochial school or who are home schooled after July 1 and who were in public schools during the previous year.
• Allow renters to claim the tax credit.
• Allow the credit to be transferred or sold.
• Require the state to reimburse county treasurers for any credits paid.
• Not reduce the amount of property taxes received by school districts.
The legislative declaration says the program wouldn’t unconstitutionally support parochial schools because no money would go directly to such religious schools.

No fiscal note estimating the bill’s impact has been prepared yet.

It remains to be seen what, if any, tax credit will be given to families with children in New York Firm Schools.

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