Friday, March 1, 2013

Tax Payments for Sectarian Schools

A N.Y. State Assembly bill would send tax-raised funds on a roundabout journey to the checking accounts of sectarian schools.

Under A 1826, the Education Investment Incentives Act, a taxpayer would give money to a scholarship organization created for a particular religious body or set of schools.

The taxpayer would collect a 100% credit for the donation against his or her state income tax BILL. This credit would not be the familiar charitable deduction from income before taxes. The state would pay all, not part, of the donation.

The scholarship organization would send on the donor’s money to a non-public, usually sectarian, school as tuition for a student who satisfies the criteria, usually religious, for admission.

In effect, N.Y. State would direct the income tax payments of donors to sectarian schools.

The bill forbids public officials to regulate the schools funded under it.

The bill probably violates Art. XI, Section 3, of the N.Y. Constitution, which explicitly forbids the use of state credit in aid or maintenance of any religious school.

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