Voucher welfare for big business

State Representatives Brenner, Patmon, Driehaus, Barnes, Butler, Maag, Newbold, Henne, Yuko, Young, Sears, Wachtmann, McClain, Huffman, Boose, Adams, J., Beck, Uecker, Stebelton, and Blessing have introduced HB242 which will "authorize nonrefundable tax credits for donations to nonprofit entities providing scholarships to low-income students enrolling in chartered nonpublic schools".

According to LSC the bill will;

  • Allow a nonrefundable credit against the income tax or certain business taxes for taxpayers who donate to nonprofit educational scholarship organizations that provide scholarships to lower-income students attending chartered nonpublic schools.
  • Authorize annual credits of up to $1,000 for individuals and $2,500 for joint filers, if the individual or joint filer is not a pass-through entity owner, and up to $300,000 for other taxpayers.
  • Limit the total amount of such credits to $20 million in fiscal year 2010, and increases the credit ceiling each year by 20% over the previous year's ceiling if the previous year's ceiling is reached.
  • Prohibit credits for donations designated for a specific child.

There is nothing in the bill however the limit the institution where the money can flow to. One can easily see the scenario where a "business" donates the maximum $300,000 to a fund, and gets a full tax credit for that amount - i.e. free money - and that business donation flows right back to a specific school.

In effect this bill simply expands the pool of voucher money by another $20 million - with a provision that it can grow by an additional 20% each year after the first.

This bill is nothing more than corporate welfare for the donors and the recipient private schools. Tax payers dollars should be used to fund public schools. That is the constitutional duty of the legislature, not to dole out precious money to private enterprise.