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Letter: Education tax credit won’t subsidize religion

Education tax credit won’t subsidize religion

The News’ May 8 editorial, “State taxpayers should not directly subsidize religious schools” is misguided in claiming that the Education Investment Tax Credit is an attempt to do this.

The editorial highlights long-standing tax policy that provides tax deductions to encourage donations to nonprofits scholarship-granting organizations, such as the BISON Scholarship Fund. This mention coupled with the claim that changing the existing tax deduction to a credit would somehow infringe on the separation of church and state is somewhat puzzling. The proposal is about further encouraging private charitable donations from individuals and businesses to support education.

In addition to creating a greater incentive for charitable donations to nonprofit scholarship-granting organizations, the plan would promote donations directly to public schools and nonprofits supporting public school programming.

Since scholarship organizations throughout New York state take income into consideration when determining the value of tuition scholarships for families, this bill is not aimed at benefiting the wealthy who can already afford to send their children to private schools if they so choose.

The education investment tax credit proposal is a necessary innovation that would well serve Buffalo’s hard-working families, support the public school system, and encouraging greater private sector investment in education.

Elizabeth Powers