Indiana recently became the 10th state to pass an education tax credit program, with a total of 14 education tax credit programs operating across the country.
Education tax credits allow individuals and corporations to receive a tax break when they spend money on educational expenses, like tuition, books, or lab materials. Depending on the state, individuals may receive a tax credit for money they spend on their own children or for donating to organizations that give scholarships to low- or middle-income students. Companies can often make similar donations.
The program details:
– Individuals and corporations can donate to scholarship granting organizations (SGO’s).- The program will allow up to $2.5 million annually in tax credits.- Tax credits can be claimed in an amount up to 50% of the tax liability.
Several individuals and organizations, like the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, supported a tax credit program in Indiana. The Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel, and the Indiana Catholic Conference, among others, also lauded the opportunity the program gives their members to send their children to private schools. Governor Mitch Daniels spearheaded the movement, including it in the budget proposal when he called the special session.
This program is small (especially compared to the $118 million cap for the Florida corporate tax credit program) and will hopefully be expanded quickly. Additionally, a dollar-for-dollar tax credit would encourage more donations for well-deserving students.
Nevertheless, Indiana has taken a solid step toward promoting greater competition in its K-12 school system. The same cannot be said for Texas. Texas lawmakers should study education tax credits during the interim and implement a broad-based program during the next legislative session.
– Paige Perez