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As it was originally written, Assembly Bill 1826 would have created an education tax credit for the purpose of instructional materials for non-public home-based education programs. While this tax credit was to be valued at 100% of the instructional purposes, the amount of credit would not have been allowed to exceed $75 in any taxable year. Unfortunately, AB 1826 was amended and the tax credit for home-based educational programs was removed.
While this tax credit offered in the original bill was small, it would have been a start in the right direction.
HSLDA supported AB 1826 as it was originally written as it provided an educational tax credit to nonpublic school parents, including homeschoolers. However, as the bill has now been amended to only include non-public schools. As a homeschool is not a nonpublic school under state law, homeschoolers are no longer eligible for this tax credit.
If you support the idea of a tax credit for the instructional materials that you purchase as a homeschooler you can contact your state assemblyman and either thank him for his support (see sponsor list above) or urge him to support the bill.
Visit the New York Legislature website to find the name of your assemblyman.
01/09/2013 (Assembly) Referred to Ways and Means Committee
06/20/2013 (Assembly) Amend (t) and recommit to ways and means
06/20/2013 (Assembly) Print number 1826a
06/20/2013 (Assembly) Amend and recommit to ways and means
06/20/2013 (Assembly) Print number 1826b
01/08/2014 (Assembly) Referred to ways and means
02/25/2014 (Assembly) Amend and recommit to ways and means
02/25/2014 (Assembly) Print number 1826c
Homeschoolers currently pay for the public education system while they privately educate their own children. This "double taxation" is unfair. While almost all homeschoolers would like to be free of the tax burden of public schools they do not use themselves, a significant number of homeschool leaders are concerned about any effort to get benefits from the government. Most homeschool leaders agree that vouchers (direct payments from the government to private or homeschools) are unacceptable because of the controls and loss of freedom that comes with the money.
As an alternative, HSLDA recommends another vehicle: educational tax credits. Parents and individuals who provide for a child’s education should be allowed to keep some of their tax money that would otherwise have been used to fund public education. This goal could be accomplished through a tax credit.
Educational tax credit legislation can typically be divided into two categories: tax credits for individuals or corporations who contribute to a non-profit scholarship fund and tax credits reimbursing parents for educational expenses incurred for their children. Arizona passed an educational tax credit law which falls into the first category while Minnesota and Illinois passed a tax credit falling into the second category.
Education tax credits offer several benefits:
- Educational tax credits will give parents true choice in education. This tax credit will help reduce the “double tax burden” on parents who choose private or home education.
- Education tax credits will benefit public schools. By encouraging students to attend private schools or homeschools, the tuition tax credit will reduce overcrowded public school class sizes and the student-to-teacher ratio, making more teachers available to public school students.
- Education tax credits will benefit low-income families. Most educational tax credit proposals provide a credit for businesses and private individuals who contribute to a nonprofit scholarship fund, which are usually dedicated to helping low-income families. This type of credit provides an incentive to help give low-income families true choice in their children’s education.
For more information on educational tax credits, see our memorandum.
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