WASHINGTON (Mar. 23)
A national coalition of non-public school leaders of all faiths to seek the enactment of federal tax credit legislation to benefit non-public school parents was established in the nation’s capital this week. This new group is headed by Rabbi Moshe Sherer, executive president of Agudath Israel of America. The new coalition, Citizens Relief for Education by Income Tax (CREDIT), will concern itself solely with the passage of legislation to give a federal tax income credit for part of non-public school tuition costs to parents of children attending such schools.
In announcing the new coalition, Rabbi Sherer declared that, “As a matter of justice and fairness, it is time that the government lived up to its responsibility to grant the financial assistance necessary to realistically allow parents a freedom of choice in education. Financial inequities now interfere with the right of parents to educate children in schools of their choice and federal income tax credits are a major constitutional means of correcting the inequities from which these non-public school parents suffer.”
YESHIVA PARENTS WOULD GET SOME $7M
Rabbi Sherer reported that the CREDIT coalition has launched a national campaign to educate the public and legislators on the value of educational income tax credits. More than a dozen bills for this purpose have already been introduced in Congress. By way of explaining this plan, Rabbi Sherer singled out as an example a bill introduced last month by Congressman Wilbur Mills (D. Ark.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Congressman Gerald Ford (R. Mich.), House Minority Leader.
This bill allows non-public school parents to obtain a tax credit of fifty percent of their tuition bill with a maximum credit of $400 per child. Once a family’s adjusted income exceeds $25,000, the credit gradually phases out. He pointed out that tax credits differ from tax deductions in that tax credits actually directly reduce the citizens’ taxes, which in essence is equal to a cash refund to the taxpayer. Rabbi Sherer estimated that yeshiva parents would receive approximately $7 million in tax credits under this plan.